A smart attire and a charming smile may be essential but a firm handshake actually holds the key to bagging a job, a new study has suggested.
An international team has carried out the study and found that job applicants with firm handshakes do stand a far better chance of being hired by employers as compared to candidates with a limp grip.
And a good, sturdy grip while holding eye contact can be even more beneficial for women, it found.
According to researchers, those with good shakes are perceived as sociable, friendly and dominant, whereas those with a weak grip are seen as introvert, shy and neurotic, the 'Daily Mail' reported.
"We found that the first impression begins with a handshake that sets the tone for the rest of the interview," lead researcher George Stewart said.
In fact, the researchers at Iowa University have based their findings on an analysis of mock interviews of around 100 students with a recruitment specialist. Before and after each interview, each volunteer was greeted by up to five handshake 'experts' posing as prospective colleagues.
Each expert assessed the student's grip for strength and duration. At the end of the process, the quality of the handshakes were compared with the verdict of the recruitment specialists.
The results showed those with the firmest grip who also held eye contact were most likely to be hired. But women with a strong grip put themselves in an even better position than men.
"Women with a firm handshake received substantially higher ratings than did men with a handshake of the same firmness. Women may actually benefit more than men if they present a strong and complete grip," the researchers said in their findings.
The study has been published in the 'Journal of Applied Psychology'.