How to Shake Hands with a Woman

Puzzled about how to shake hands with a woman? Not so long ago it was believed that a man should always wait for a woman to extend her hand first in order to shake it. This rule still applies when you are attending a professional job interview or you are in a business setting, and holds true regardless of whether you are a man or a woman.

If the female interviewee extends her hand, give her a firm handshake, which will show her that you are confident. This leaves a good first impression and allows you to smoothly transition in to the remainder of your interview. Remember to not squeeze too hard. There is a big difference between a good handshake and a bone-crushing handshake. If you squeeze too hard, you’ll not only irk your interviewer, but you will come off as being insecure and trying to overcompensate for a personal flaw. Also, do not think that just because she’s a woman, she deserves a weaker handshake. Shake her hand as you would with another man. The key to a good handshake is to not think too much. You want to keep it as simple as possible with one or two pumps. If you think too much about how to give a proper handshake, you will most likely end up squeezing too hard or too light.

When it comes to social settings, it is perfectly acceptable to extend your hand first to a woman. Yet, it is important that you do not extend your arm far out to her and invade her personal space. This might come across as being quite intimidating, and that is not the impression you want to give to a woman, especially someone you are most likely meeting for the first time. The best thing to do is to keep your biceps at your side and lift your forearm so that it is perpendicular to your body. This is the proper etiquette when it comes to shaking a woman’s hand in a social setting. Remember that when you shake hands you want to maintain eye contact with the woman and give a confident smile. This will put her at ease and leave a great first impression.

A handshake is a gesture of peace and should be done cordially and confidently. While there are a few rules you need to remember when shaking hands with a woman, the basic etiquette for handshaking remains the same.