For every business transactions, it is expected that pleasantries be exchanged. A job interview is a business transaction of which you are the product and the buyer is the firm that requires your services. It then behooves the people involved in the business; the buyer and the seller to exchange pleasantries.
In our daily life affairs, pleasantries are the kisses, hugs, pecks and handshakes that we give to our loved ones. However, job interviews are formal settings so affectionate pleasantries like hugs, pecks and kisses are not allowed; no matter how tempting it might be.
In this article we will address one important aspect of job interviews that is important but most often ignored; the exchange of pleasantries and the right way to do it.
Doing It Right
If you walk into the interview room and meet a panel, how do you exchange greetings? Do you exchange handshakes with the entire 10 member panel? Of course not! Who extends the hand first? How do you shake hands? These are all very pertinent questions.
In the first place, you do not have to shake hands with all the members of the interview panel. You could exchange general greetings of: “Good morning Sirs and Good Morning Madams”. If it’s a two-man panel or one-on-one interview, then shaking hands are mandatory. In this case, wait for the interviewer to give you his / her hands first. Then shake with a firm hand shake; pressure matching pressure. In this instance, you greet the interview by the name. It makes the interviewer feel important since you took the time to check out his/ name. This is used in building rapport which is very important for job interviews.
The Wrong Way To Exchange Pleasantries
Some job applicants lose the interview at this stage because of lack of information on the ethics of exchanging pleasantries. Hugging a female interviewer as a male applicant is one way of failing the job interview. You just hugged the job away. No matter how pretty or handsome the interviewer is, refrain from hugs.
Do not extend your hand first. Don’t be proactive with handshakes but wait for the handshake to come. When it does come, let the handshake pressure match the pressure of the interviewer. Refrain from such unprofessional handshakes as the knuckle grinder or dead fish handshake. The knuckle grinder is that used in gangster movies while the dead fish kind is where the hands are left limp. This is most commonly found among female job hunters who think that it makes them feel cool. Truth is that a singular handshake could be used to tell a lot about you.
Now you know it all; exchanging pleasantries is part of the interview itself and care must be taken to always get it right.