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I have shaken many' a hand in my time as an intern. Big hands, small hands, clammy hands, hands which after shaking that make you immediately think "man those were some terrible hands" and today I want to go over a couple things in the art of proper handshaking.

To begin with when learning how to handshake as an intern its important to remember that interns shake hands just like everybody else. Allow me to illustrate:

Here are a picture of some hands. Looks like yours right???

how to handshake as an intern

But even though we all have the same hands, handshakes were not all born equal. The best hand shakes leave you feeling a powerful connection with the recipient which last to the end of time. For example the Wright brothers hated each other... then they shook hands... and boom the plane was made.

Follow the below steps in order to really handshake like a super star:



Step 1: Right is right and left is wrong

Are you right-handed? I hope so because unfortunately most people will extend to shake your hand with their rights hands. Sorry lefties. Thankfully your right hand is very much like your left hand. Prepare well in advance when a handshake is coming and make sure the right hand is free. Sense the vibe from the other person - you will know it's coming.

how to handshake as an intern

If you are carrying anything try to put it on the table or naturally shift it to your left hand before the handshake comes - you don't want some awkward fumbling when you actually connect.

Step 2: Body Language is king my friend

Just little things my friends. When you are sitting down and someone is coming in for a handshake- stand up! Super star interns respect their fellow man. Other things include:

  • Keep your hands out of your pocket
  • Keep your head straight 
  • Smile warmly but not too much (more on smiling later)
  • Back straight, dont slouch- you're a super star who can shake hands!

Step 3: The Thumbweb and its power

Yeah no seriously the thumbweb is real. In fact the key to the perfect handshake which sends jitters down your spine is maximising this thumbweb contact.

To find your thumb-web just make an "L" shape with your right hand - see that flap of skin? BOOM THUMBWEB LOCATED.

You should also try to keep your hand as perpendicular as possible to the ceiling and so that you can adjust its position depending on the recipient. Face down can be too dominant and face down can be too submissive so this is pretty important to get right.

Step 4: Making Contact through thumbweb connection

Go in diagonally after adjusting your hand as seen above. Make your thumbweb connect with their thumbweb in a thumbweb to thumbweb love making session. Extend our index finger forward, drop your thumb and let the sparks fly.

Step 5: Shake that hand son and enjoy it

Full contact should be made now.. but remember to squeeze firmly but only as much as the other person does. Make love not war. 

how to handshake as an intern



Remember like all amazing skills practice always makes perfect. Go up to everyone you meet and just shake every hand you see. At the bus stop? Shake a hand. Meeting a friend? Shake their hand. Go up to all your other intern friends and shake ALL THE HANDS!!

You'll be a super star hand shaker in no time.

Download our Guide to  Acing the First Day of your Internship!


Ricky Huang

Written by Ricky Huang