A handshake, whether at a job interview or business meeting, can have several meanings. Not only is it important to focus on how someone is shaking your hand, but on how you shake their hand as well! Handshake meanings vary from country to country so keep in mind, the following apply only to the U.S.:

Job Interview Handshake #1: Palm Up

If you go to shake someone’s hand and you intentionally face your palm up, it can indicate humility. If you go to shake someone’s hand and they turn your hand so your palm is up, it can indicate that you are being respectful of their superiority.

Job Interview Handshake #2: Palm Down

If you go to shake someone’s hand you intentionally face your palm down, it indicates superiority and control. If you go to shake someone’s hand you they turn your hand so your palm is down, it may indicate that they lack self confidence or they see you as being superior. 

Job Interview Handshake #3: Loose

If you go to shake someone’s hand and you intentionally have a loose grip, it indicates weakness. If you go to shake someone’s hand and they have a loose grip, it signifies weakness as well.

Job Interview Handshake #4: Firm

If you go to shake someone’s hand and you intentionally have a firm grip, it indicates power. If you go to shake someone’s hand and they have a firm grip, it signifies power as well.

Job Interview Handshake #5: Whole Hand

If you go to shake someone’s hand you and you intentionally grab their palm (whole hand shake), you are indicating that you view them as an equal. If you go to shake someone’s hand and they grab your palm (whole hand shake), they are indicating that they view you as an equal.

Job Interview Handshake #6: Finger Tips

If you go to shake someone’s hand and you intentionally grasp their finger tips instead of their palm, you are indicating that you feel they need to be treated in a more delicate manner. If you go to shake someone’s hand and they grasp your fingertips instead of your palm, they believe you need to be treated more delicately.

Job Interview Handshake #7: Bone Cruncher

If you go to shake someone’s hand and your grip is so hard it feels their bones are being crushed, you are indicating a game of power. You are challenging their ability and worth through a handshake. The same goes if they were to do it to you.

Job Interview Handshake #8: Eye Contact

If you are making eye contact while going in to shake someone’s hand, it shows sincerity and honesty. If you avoid making eye contact you may be perceived as lying, inferior, or possibly nervous. The same goes if they were to do the same to you.

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