6 things to do and not do with your hands during a job interview

Are you familiar with workplace hand etiquette? Probably not. Believe it or not, there are rules about what you should and shouldn’t do with your hands during an interview. 

In the book Crazy Good Interviewing, we picked up some great tips on what you should do. Here are 6 dos and don’ts.

1. DO: Show your palms

In “The Definitive Book of Body Language,” Barbara and Allan Pease say that an open palm is linked to “truth, honesty, alleigance, and submission”. They continue – “Humans use their palms to show that they are unarmed and therefore not a threat”.

2. DO: Press the fingertips of your hands together 

Pressing your fingertips together, in a church steeple shape, is a sign of confidence.

3. DON’T: Hide your hands

Hiding your hands by putting them under the table or in your pockets could make you look untrustworthy and nervous. Anita Barbee, a professor of social work, told Real Simple, “A person may be telling you one thing, but these cues indicate you’re not getting the whole story.”

4. DON’T: Overuse hand gestures

This can be easily done if you’re nervous in an interview but it can be really distracting. You want the interviewer to be listening to what you are saying, not watching your hands. Try and sit still, it will make you look more professional.

5. DON’T: Have your palms facing downwards

This is a sign of dominance and it shows your interviewer that you want to take control of your meeting. Doing this isn’t a great way to make a first impression as your body language will be too harsh.

6. DON’T: Tap

This shows impatience and boredom. Don’t do this in an interview for sure!

Now what?