Can You Do The Digital Handshake?


can you do the digital handshake?
With the growing number of video interviews, there’s not a good reason to assume you won’t be asked to be part of one. Business video chats are not in the same category as a Skype or Google hangout because there is a level of professional behavior expected from all parties. Many business meetings are being held in a video conference, too, so these skills are going to be essential in most careers.
One of The New Secrets to Rocking Your Skype Interview that Scott Dockweiler gives us on The Muse is the “digital handshake.” This substitute for a physical shaking of hands is a way to show you are friendly, professional, and ready to get started. This is how you do the first impression successfully, laying the foundation for good communication during the rest of the meeting. Without that good first impression, the rest of the meeting is an attempt to overcome bad vibes.

Components of The Digital Handshake

  • Look at the camera
  • Lean slightly forward, shoulders & eyes focusing ahead
  • Nod your head in a slow, confident, deliberate gesture without breaking eye contact

Now I can hear some of you saying…”I’m looking at a camera! What’s the eye contact there?” You need to remember, in a video meeting that the camera is where you look when you are speaking. When the other party speaks, look at the screen, but when you speak, look at the camera. Some people use a photograph with a hole in it for the lens to put over the camera as a reminder.

Why A Digital Handshake Is Important

The whole video business meeting dynamic is inventing itself, and we are still seeing things change. But even a few years ago, global trends indicated that business and video conferencing were only going to increase. Since the use of video eliminates some of the geographic limitations, we are going to have to be prepared for some cross-cultural challenges along with the ordinary challenge of impressing a remote viewer with your professional abilities.
That simple nod and the body language accompanying it says you are ready to listen and contribute to the meeting — so it can start.