How Covid has killed off the age-old handshake: Two-thirds of jobseekers do not want to shake an interviewer’s hand, survey shows
- Handshakes have been established part of job interview process for decades
- Experts claim to be able to tell what person is thinking through brief encounter
- Recruitment company Randstad quizzed 735 adults about handshaking
Covid may have killed off the traditional handshake at a job interview, according to survey data.
Two-thirds of jobseekers don’t want to shake an interviewer’s hand amid continued reservations about social distancing.
Only a third of 735 adults surveyed by recruitment company Randstad claimed it is still appropriate to shake hands at interviews.
Handshakes have been an established part of the job interview process for decades.
Two-thirds of jobseekers don’t want to shake an interviewer’s hand amid continued reservations about social distancing
Some experts claim 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, while a crushing handshake could show dominance.
Public health experts urged Brits to stop shaking hands early on in the pandemic, in an effort to combat the spread of the virus.
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 at work, remain amid continued fears of contracting Covid in the workplace, it said.
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.’
Why did scientists advise against handshakes?
At the start of the pandemic, experts believed one of the most common ways to transmit coronavirus was through touching contaminated surfaces.
Studies showed the virus itself, known as SARS-CoV-2, could survive on table-tops for several days.
Mobeen Rathore, chief of paediatric infectious diseases and immunology at Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, told the Huffington Post: ‘The most common mechanism for transmission is related to hands.
‘We’re using them all the time, constantly touching things, and we aren’t even aware of it.
‘Then we touch our faces all the time without even thinking about it.’
But the evidence about how Covid mainly spreads began to shift towards the end of 2020.
Aerosol droplets are now thought to be the main way the virus jumps between people.
Despite insisting contaminated surfaces play a minimal role in transmission, experts say people should still sanitise their hands to stay safe.
They argue the virus can still enter the body when infected hands touch the nose and mouth.
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