Handshakes at job interviews could be made redundant

Reservations about physical interactions remain

Alan Jones
Wednesday 01 September 2021 12:17 BST
<p>Two HR managers talking to young candidate during job interview</p>

Two HR managers talking to young candidate during job interview

Two out of three jobseekers do not want to shake an interviewer’s hand amid continued reservations about social distancing at work, new research suggests.

Only a third of 735 adults surveyed by recruitment company Randstad said it is appropriate to shake hands at interviews post-pandemic.

The firm said a handshake greeting has been an established part of the job interview process for many years, with some experts claiming to be able to tell what the person is thinking or feeling through the brief encounter.

A limp hand could be seen as a sign of weakness, or a crushing handshake could show dominance, said its report.

Randstad said thousands of online guides and videos around how to perfect the “job-winning handshake” may soon become redundant.

Reservations about physical interactions, such as handshakes in the workplace, remain amid continued fears of contracting Covid in the workplace, said the report.

Jenna Alexander, of Randstad, said: “The idea of compulsory pre-interview handshakes is now being perceived as a non-inclusive and unnecessary process, in the same sense as commuting a long distance to a physical meeting, according to the hundreds of jobseekers we polled.

“The traditional interview greeting and parting interaction, which many find daunting, has been identified as an old tradition that the majority hope to shake off. Unfortunately it took a world pandemic and Government advice to change perceptions around this.

“The focus of the interview is to ensure that the person is right for the job, not about how well they shake hands.”

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