Using a Proper Handshake or Bow | No BS Job Search Advice Radio

Ep 667 Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter explains the importance of using correct body language at the beginning of your interview.  This show was recorded prior to the pandemic. Things will eventually return to normal.


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I want to talk with you today about body language and is very simple piece of body language that some people in the US get tripped up with. I've spoken about the smile; I spoke about the positioning of yourself in the interview chair during an interview. Today, I want to remind you about "that handshake."

If you are US-born, you understand that a handshake is firm and you maintain eye contact while shaking hands. If you are from other cultures, that might be considered rude. But, if you are interviewing in the US, that is the appropriate thing to do. So, I want to encourage you to practice the proper handshake. If you are not US-born.

And, if you are US-born interviewing outside of the United States, remember, culturally, it may be different. You may not be interviewing with an ex-pat working abroad; you may be interviewing with someone local who is used to a milder handshake..

In some cultures, the appropriate thing is not a handshake – – it is a bow. If you are US-born, you have no experience with this; is the equivalent of someone being foreign-born and shaking hands in the US. You have to learn how to bow. I can't do that because different cultures will bow differently.

Wherever you are, if you are interview with someone expecting a bow, because you're interviewing in a foreign country (that is, outside of the United States), you will have to go to someone to practice with. This is an example of 1 of those "practice ahead of the interview kind of things" that I talk about with regularity. Being rude and not bowing, being rude and not shaking hands properly will hurt you in the interview because it will temporarily distract the interviewer from paying attention to who you are and what you can get them.


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2100 episodes.

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Using a Proper Handshake or Bow | No BS Job Search Advice Radio

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