First Impressions count

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One in five candidates could be losing out on a job due to a poor handshake.

With UK unemployment figures at their highest in 17 years, making a good impression at a job interview has never been so important. But new research released today suggests that 1 in 5 applicants could be losing out on a job within the first five seconds of an interview.
The poll of 2,000 Brits by Airdri, a global manufacturer of warm hand driers, looked at how important a good handshake is. Eighteen per cent of those interviewed stated it was such an integral part of forming their impression of a person that they wouldn’t employ someone who didn’t have a good handshake.

The handshake has been a traditional greeting and a key part of business deals for centuries, yet it seems we’re losing the skill; almost half of those surveyed revealed that no-one had ever taught them how. Dads proved to be the best role models, with 25 percent of those who had been taught how, learning the handshake from their Father.

Men value the handshake more than their female counterparts, with 36 per cent claiming a soft but firm style is the crucial element. Hygiene conscious women want to encounter clean and dry hands and this was their number one concern when going in for the shake.

A third of those surveyed stated the limp-wristed handshake more commonly known as a ‘limp fish’ is their most hated style of handshake, with 36% claiming it suggested a nervous and introverted personality.

Airdri is launching a campaign to re-instate the art of a good handshake back into British culture. Together with body language expert Judi James they have created a guide to the perfect handshake.

Judi James comments: “It’s easy to dismiss the handshake as a mystifying social ritual that should be well past its sell-by-date in this era of texts, e-mails and more casual forms of bonding and communication, but the handshake is one of our most important and basic forms of communication. It’s part of our animal survival response in terms of submission and bonding signals, combining messages of status, power, courage, honesty, trust, confidence and even health in one swift form of touch.
Getting it right won’t guarantee you’re memorable but get it wrong and you’ll leave a lasting impression that could mean you miss out on interviews, business, social success and even dating.”

John Curzon, General Manager, Airdri, adds: “The handshake is a globally accepted form of greeting that transcends language and is the first opportunity to make a good impression with a potential employer or client. With the UK deep in recession and employment levels at an all time high it’s now more important than ever to do everything you can to present yourself in the best possible way. Our five step handshake guide will help people to re-learn the value of the simple handshake.”

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