To shake or not to shake, that is the question…

This will be one of the questions weighing on candidates minds as the first few start to attend face to face interviews in this “new normal” which we are all adjusting to.

It is a shame. We all knew that the handshake was the first step in the interview process, we knew that this is where we were judged. Not too firm, not to limp, not too hot, not too sweaty. This was the chance to shine, with seemingly minimal effort. The Handshake is so ingrained in our culture and in fact has been a way since the 5th Century of showing that you were unarmed and came with good peaceful intentions. The shake was added later to prove you did not have any weapons hiding up your sleeve!!

Now however, the handshake almost feels a bit borderline sociopathic, given its efficiency at transmitting germs. It certainly didn’t help Boris Johnson when he ignored the advice to stop shaking hands.

So, what to do instead? I think I would just smile and wave, not a manic wave, more of a once left to right movement. I would probably say “ What a shame we can’t shake hands, this all feels a bit awkward, but hey! Best to be on the safe side, I couldn’t bear it if I thought I had passed on any germs.”

I’m not sure how appropriate other options such as elbow bumps, air high fives and namaste gestures are. My good friend Andy a seasoned developer has adopted the Japanese bow, apparently no different to when he did Judo many years ago. He does make the point though that you must remember not to take your eyes off the interviewer when you bow. Alternatively, a full bow or curtsey? Although that does seem a bit much. Maybe a just an understated but classy nod or head tilt

So good luck at your interview, once the terror of the initial greeting is over the rest will be easy!!

Remember : Be prepared, Be punctual, Be enthusiastic

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