Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Stereotyping Screening Applicants Job Applicants Job Interviews

I just interviewed an applicant who looked perfect on paper. His interview went well, but I have one lingering doubt. He has a very weak handshake. On several occasions, I have heard that this is a sign of weak character, and that is the last thing we need here. This applicant did not have a hand injury or anything like that. Since I have this doubt, should I look at other applicants?

Instead of looking at other applicants, you should look at yourself. You are making a major business decision, as well as a decision that will profoundly impact the life of another person, and you are basing your decision on nothing more than a stereotype. There is absolutely no correlation between a personís handshake and his or her character.

The notion about the relationship between a personís handshake and his or her character has been bandied about for many years, and this fact alone has caused many people to believe it. However, there are many age-old truisms that have been around for eons and lack even the slightest hint of truth.

If you want to know about the strength of this applicantís character, take a look at the best indicator of his character, namely his past behavior. By gathering a clear picture of his work history, you will have no problem discerning a true measure of his character. If you rely on a handshake to make this determination, you are on shaky ground.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!