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Ibn al-Hussain

Job Interview - Hand Shake

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(salam)

Br. Ali, here's a technique that has worked for me. Practice it at home with your friends so you can pull it off. You have to do it exactly like this or it won't work.

First, if you know where the interview is going to be, scout out the location and see if there is a long hallway. If there is, on the day of the interview, wait until you are about 10 or 15 feet from the women who is going to greet you. Then wave and smile enthusiastically before you reach close proximity. When you reach close proximity, turn your body at an angle so that there is no face to face contact. 50% of the time this will work, and she won't notice anything unusual since you did greet each other. If you don't think that will work, or it is too awkward, move to technique #2

You will need a kleenex for this one so carry some in your pocket. Again, smile and wave enthusiastically about 15 feet from her. When you get to about 10 feet, 'AAAACHOOO' fake a big sneeze and then wipe your hand with the kleenex, but don't do too good of a job. Leave some room for doubt in her mind as to whether you have fully wiped your hand. If she still goes for the shake, hold up you're hand and have a dumb look on your face when you do it. She will get the message.

She might have a not so good impression of you but you can make up for it by being very kind, courteous, and professional during the rest of the interview.

Some people say, 'Oh, you should just tell her that you are muslims and you can't shake hands'

Well, you're first interview will probably be with some generic human resources person who you will probably never meet again. It will most likely be a women since HR departments are mostly women.

You're second interview (if there is a second interview) will most likely be with a man, since it will probably be a manager or supervisor in the department that you may work in. That is the reality in most companies that I have interview with (and I have been on alot of interviews). If the handshake situation comes up after you are hired, you can then explain that you are muslim, and we don't shake hands with opposite genders. You don't need to give an elaborate explaination, just a simple one will do. If they want to know more, they will ask you.

I don't agree with the gloves option, unless it is really cold outside, otherwise you will look ridiculous and the person interviewing you will probably be thinking 'Why is he wearing gloves?' thru the whole interview and this could hurt your chances of getting the job. It is a known fact in psychology that any action that is quick and seemless preceeded and proceeded by normalcy or an apperance of normalcy will (almost always) be disregarded. In these situations, it's not really what you do but how you do it that counts.

Edited by Abu Hadi

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Bro Abu Hadi, man, now I can't WAIT until I'm advanced enough in some company to actually give interviews, so I can try out these techniques! Man, how do you keep a straight face through all that? I'm afraid I'd giggle!

I do the clumsy and carrying too much routine. Works well in a professional environment in which the other people are also socially inept, and where it might be appropriate to show a portfolio of your work.

I've never been to any HR department, I've always been interviewed directly by people who would be my supervisors. Guess it depends on your field of work.

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(salam)

Sis smiley, I practice in front of a mirror, then I tried it with my sister. It took a few tries to get it right.

Br. Muhammed Ali, it depends on the women. If she is a real, 'I'm in your face and I want to shake your hand kind of women, then I would carry thru with the cold technique. If not, then the body position technique works pretty good in both cases, in my experience. This technique doesn't work 100% or the time, but it's the best thing I've found yet. Since I am maqaled to Sayyid Muhammed Hussein Fadlallah(ha), he says that you can shake hands if your life or livelihood depends on it, and in that situation only. I manage to get out of it about 95% of the time. I have had a few very awkward moments in which the handshake was the only option, but Allah(s.w.a) knows my intention and that I am trying my best to obey Him(s.w.a) and I hope he will forgive me for the times which I couldn't get out of it.

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I don't agree with the gloves option, unless it is really cold outside, otherwise you will look ridiculous and the person interviewing you will probably be thinking 'Why is he wearing gloves?' thru the whole interview and this could hurt your chances of getting the job.

thats true, even if its really cold outside I would not wear gloves to job interview.

In job interviews I would try to say it in advance that I wish not to shake hands and explain it in a nice way to the listener.

I would not go fake sneezing, it would look really stupid and I can´t lie even in that issue, also would start maybe giggling and stuff.

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For meetings, its easy. All you have to do it "prepare your materials", and give everyone a friendly verbal greeting while you work.

Honestly, I try to avoid it, but I'm not going to risk my children's home and food over it. If someone important really, really wants to shake my hand, I'm going to take it. I don't even remotely begin to understand how that could possibly lead to sin. Maybe if I understood the psychology behind the ruling, I could internalize it.

Wearing gloves is weird, unless you are a carpenter or construction worker.

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For meetings, its easy. All you have to do it "prepare your materials", and give everyone a friendly verbal greeting while you work.

Honestly, I try to avoid it, but I'm not going to risk my children's home and food over it. If someone important really, really wants to shake my hand, I'm going to take it. I don't even remotely begin to understand how that could possibly lead to sin. Maybe if I understood the psychology behind the ruling, I could internalize it.

Wearing gloves is weird, unless you are a carpenter or construction worker.

i think the psychology behind it is that prohibiting all contact between non mahram draws a very firm line between halal and haram behavior. otherwise, u start to get into "grey areas" such as a friendly hug versus a more-than-friendly hug, or a peck on the cheek versus... well, u get it. also, it lets a man know that he is obligated to respect a woman's space and that she has a right to control who touches her body (and vice versa).

however, i've been having a tremendous problem with this too... i am working at a school this year, and all of the staff love shaking hands... there are at least a hundred of them, and many are men. as much as i try to avoid it they will get up and reach across a table, etc, in order to offer the requisite handshake. i'm just hoping it will stop now that they all know me!

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WHAT DO YOU DO IN THAT SITUATION!? I WON'T EVER GET A JOB IN MY LIFE LIKE THIS?! WHO'S GOING TO PAY FOR THE GAS FOR THE CAR, FOR THE CELL PHONE, I WON'T EVER GET MARRIED?!

bro u r not the only one, all the muslims living in the non muslim countries have to face it

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^

I disagree, I think most muslims are either unaware of this issue or do not believe in being so "strict". I would've thought only a minority of practicing shias and salafis would avoid the hand...for the rest it is no problem.

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(salam)

So I had an interview today and it was going all fine, she even got down the days I was going to work and timings etc. and at the end when it's done she went for the hand shake, I just said sorry with my hand on my chest and she gave me the weirdest look and I picked up my folder from the desk, everything happened so fast and then she goes okay we'll call you if you get the job and if we don't that means we've selected someone else. My friends that can't even talk properly are working @ that place and I know I killed that interview :dry:.

Then she showed me the "short-cut" way out :dry:.

WHAT DO YOU DO IN THAT SITUATION!? I WON'T EVER GET A JOB IN MY LIFE LIKE THIS?! WHO'S GOING TO PAY FOR THE GAS FOR THE CAR, FOR THE CELL PHONE, I WON'T EVER GET MARRIED?!

(salam)

It's a shame you didn't have a glass of water during the interview. You could have quickly picked it up and used the "condensation-on-the-hand"/"wet-hand" excuse. Or you could have just picked up everything at once, and used the "too-much-stuff-in-my-hands" excuse. Or you could have started walking out beside her and asked her for driving directions to the nearest Barnes and Noble. That way you would have been able to distract her with walking forward, with no awkward standing-still- in-front-of-each-other-face-to-face moments that are prone to hand-shake occurrences. I've used that one in the past.

Maybe you should immediately mail her a professional thank you for your time and consideration card, and remind her of how much you are looking forward to working for their company. I don't know bro; I'm really trying to help you out here, akhi :blush: . Did you hear from them today???

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(salam)

You will need a kleenex for this one so carry some in your pocket. Again, smile and wave enthusiastically about 15 feet from her. When you get to about 10 feet, 'AAAACHOOO' fake a big sneeze and then wipe your hand with the kleenex, but don't do too good of a job. Leave some room for doubt in her mind as to whether you have fully wiped your hand. If she still goes for the shake, hold up you're hand and have a dumb look on your face when you do it. She will get the message.

She might have a not so good impression of you but you can make up for it by being very kind, courteous, and professional during the rest of the interview.

:lol: Bro Abu Hadi, that's a true classic!

(salam)

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^

I disagree, I think most muslims are either unaware of this issue or do not believe in being so "strict". I would've thought only a minority of practicing shias and salafis would avoid the hand...for the rest it is no problem.

Ahh, you got me... I guess I'm one of these fake non-practicing hypocritical pseudo-Muslims you speak of lol.

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I think sometimes as Muslims we take things to such extremes as if there is only black or white. there is obviously no reason for a man to shake hands with a Muslim woman. but think about why this came to be in the first place....to avoid zina. are you honestly going to be putting yourself in a situation to sin when someone in the business world who has just offered you a job? If so, my next statements are irrelevant. Personally, I can shake hands with anyone in a business setting and not experience any kind of arrousal. I have worked with people all over the world and there are certain customs in different cultures that one is very offended if you do not participate in, shaking hands being one of them. Perhaps part of the job would have put the OP in a position in which he had to greet customers, etc.

The Japanese often like to start a meal with a toast and, just beforehand, you will be given an alcoholic drink. Even if you do not drink, accept it and at the toast make a gesture of drinking it. A clear refusal of anything, especially at a time of enjoyment, is a sign of disrespect to the Japanese. Going through the motions is perfectly acceptable though.

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Guest 3ashiqatAlZahraa

Salam

^ Your point of view is appreciated, but in islamic laws for Usooli Shia we follow our marja strictly. This is a law, you can debate it with them and persuade to change their ruling, but it IS black and white, halal and haram.

So there isn't a reason to try to convince people of otherwise.

Wasalam.

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Salam

^ Your point of view is appreciated, but in islamic laws for Usooli Shia we follow our marja strictly. This is a law, you can debate it with them and persuade to change their ruling, but it IS black and white, halal and haram.

So there isn't a reason to try to convince people of otherwise.

Wasalam.

I am not trying to convince anyone of anything, merely stating my opinion. If I were trying to convince someone I would have backed it up with some type of proof and I wouldn't have stated I THINK

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Salams bro

If you did, what you did, for the sake of Allah, then you don't need to worry, cz ure rizk is in Allah's hands

Usually an employer should be wise enough to understand your position and should sense the word "muslim" written all around you ......anyhow, here is a tip to stand on top of the list :

When you apply for the job, follow up with the status of your application.....or personally write a thankyou note to the employer when your selected for an interview.....

This is how we distinguish talented people from average joes when hiring new comers....in our organisation.

Fi-Amanillah

Edited by inshaAllah

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(salam)

So I had an interview today and it was going all fine, she even got down the days I was going to work and timings etc. and at the end when it's done she went for the hand shake, I just said sorry with my hand on my chest and she gave me the weirdest look and I picked up my folder from the desk, everything happened so fast and then she goes okay we'll call you if you get the job and if we don't that means we've selected someone else. My friends that can't even talk properly are working @ that place and I know I killed that interview :dry:.

Then she showed me the "short-cut" way out :dry:.

WHAT DO YOU DO IN THAT SITUATION!? I WON'T EVER GET A JOB IN MY LIFE LIKE THIS?! WHO'S GOING TO PAY FOR THE GAS FOR THE CAR, FOR THE CELL PHONE, I WON'T EVER GET MARRIED?!

(salam)

Did you send in a resume when you applied. Since you are living in a country that is non-Muslim, your resume should include a short para stating that your religion does not permit you any physical contact with any member of the opposite gender.

You should also somehow try to bring it up during the conversation, BEFORE things seem to be heading for a decision in your favour.

Abrupt refusing to shake hands can, and did put your interviewer off. Her decision was impulsive, but that is human nature.

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It's been haunting me the whole day dude :dry:. It's not about what I did was right or wrong, it's about what the heck do I do now, need better ways to get out of this situation in the future -_-. It's not easy to 'explain' it just like that.

Oh boy! you're so pious!! :angel: and to avoid siutation like this, simply dont refuse shaking hands with any lady in future if she offers you first!! believe me it's very cool experience :P and I tell you, you will get used to it once you do that :lol:

As per rulings from Clerics the best i know it should be avoided but not Haram under that situation you have been in..!!

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Let me just bluntly state this from a business perspective NOT AN ISLAMIC perspective. There are many jobs you will be overlooked for in a non-Muslim country if you are unwilling to deal with people in what is considered a normal fashion for that culture. that is the harsh reality of things in the business world. you are there to enhance their business, not hinder it. If you have contact with the public, chances are you will be expected to conform to the social norms.

Personally, I can't imagine that Allah (SAW) would have a problem with a non-sexual greeting such as shaking hands that is required in the performance of your job (which is mandatory for your families future).....but that is just my opinion.....you know what they say about opinions. LOL

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This incident occured with my brother on his first day of school. He said she reached out her hand, and he shook it because it was so unexpected and I guess he wasn't prepared for it. Every day after that, he just coughed and walked by.

Being in isolation with the person shaking your hand, and not shaking it is defintely more difficult. Because you're the focal point, you can't divert the attention of the interviewer to someone else.

I guess the only thing you can do if you don't get the job is to keep in mind that Allah did this for a reason. Most likely there is a better job out there that is more suitable to you.

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(salam) ,

I remember that Sayed Modarresi said in one of his lectures about hijaab:

"Our women are too precious to God to have any old Tom,Richard or Harry stare at them with impure thoughts".

Maybe you could have said something like :

"You are too precious and beautiful a creation of God to have some random man like me reach out and touch your skin".

Although I can never say the above line without laughing at the expression it raises on the face of the person I've just said it to.

Could could try and bandage two of your fingers together to make it look like you've got a fracture and so she won't want to shake your hand in case she hurts you. Although I'm not sure if faking it is the right way to go.

i know what you mean though, its REALLY awkward to try and avoid it. Inshah'Allah Allah will judge us on our intentions in situations where we've made a mistake.

Pease WS.

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(salam)

Did you send in a resume when you applied. Since you are living in a country that is non-Muslim, your resume should include a short para stating that your religion does not permit you any physical contact with any member of the opposite gender.

You should also somehow try to bring it up during the conversation, BEFORE things seem to be heading for a decision in your favour.

Abrupt refusing to shake hands can, and did put your interviewer off. Her decision was impulsive, but that is human nature.

It would seem silly writing all that out on a resume and he did say everything happened so quickly he didn't even get a chance to think.

^You can't directly indicate religion on a resume in the US.

You can, however, indicate membership in religious organizations, if they might support your qualifications.

All application forms here have to include a question which asks you what religion you belong to, it's all to do with equal opportunities, (for some employers it's an opportunity for them to use this in an unethical manner) isn't it the same there?

(salam) ,

I remember that Sayed Modarresi said in one of his lectures about hijaab:

"Our women are too precious to God to have any old Tom,Richard or Harry stare at them with impure thoughts".

Maybe you could have said something like :

"You are too precious and beautiful a creation of God to have some random man like me reach out and touch your skin".

Although I can never say the above line without laughing at the expression it raises on the face of the person I've just said it to.

Could could try and bandage two of your fingers together to make it look like you've got a fracture and so she won't want to shake your hand in case she hurts you. Although I'm not sure if faking it is the right way to go.

i know what you mean though, its REALLY awkward to try and avoid it. Inshah'Allah Allah will judge us on our intentions in situations where we've made a mistake.

Pease WS.

Best advice I've seen so far :lol:

And the bandage excuse is not bad either.

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All application forms here have to include a question which asks you what religion you belong to, it's all to do with equal opportunities, (for some employers it's an opportunity for them to use this in an unethical manner) isn't it the same there?

Nope. Too much opportunity for the information to be used unethically. There is a form which is separate from the application, used by some larger employers, which tracks statistics on race, gender, and ethnicity, but this form doesn't have the applicant's name on it, and is supposed to be detached from the application before the reviewer looks at it.

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Let me just bluntly state this from a business perspective NOT AN ISLAMIC perspective. There are many jobs you will be overlooked for in a non-Muslim country if you are unwilling to deal with people in what is considered a normal fashion for that culture. that is the harsh reality of things in the business world. you are there to enhance their business, not hinder it. If you have contact with the public, chances are you will be expected to conform to the social norms.

Personally, I can't imagine that Allah (SAW) would have a problem with a non-sexual greeting such as shaking hands that is required in the performance of your job (which is mandatory for your families future).....but that is just my opinion.....you know what they say about opinions. LOL

I agree with you.

I think it's admirable that some people really are very strict about things such as not shaking hands. That's real dedication...

But I agree with what Asha has said. Unfortunately, not many non-Muslims will be understanding of a refusal to shake hands, even on the basis of religion. I don't know of anyone that would get aroused from shaking someone's hand. :huh: And I personally see no harm in shaking hands for business or academic purposes. And I'm sure Allah would be understanding of it.... We are not about to fornicate or anything to get a job!!! It's just a simple greeting that is customary in the west. I think sometimes compromises have to be made, especially in today's world. Otherwise, you might as well move to Iran or Saudi Arabia. :Hijabi:

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This is an issue I struggle with everyday! In non business settings avoiding shaking hands is pretty much easy, sometimes I'll admit I mess up because I was not prepared for it or it happens so fast I will shake hands out of a "reflex" which is pathetic but for the most part in non business settings I avoid the situation. Why I struggle with this problem is because at my masjid, the Imam who is from a very prominent and famous family of scholars believes that if you are in a situation where you are meeting people and women are among the crowd, he suggests to avoid shaking their hands, however, if they extend their hand to shake hands with you then you should shake their hand even if this is in a non-business setting. He says that his duty as being a Muslim in America should be to attract people to Islam not repel people from Islam. So he feels that if he does not shake their hand they will have negative feelings about Islam and this is why he will shake hands with women. However if the woman is Muslim he will not shake her hand because he feels that she should know better. On the flip side to that our Shiekh at our Masjid is much more conservative than him and he always tells me if the person giving you this advice is not a Marja, then do not listen to him, because it is HARAAM. He says that I should not do it regardless if it is in a business setting, and I think I agree with both...I think that if I can avoid it and not shake hands with people who you know wont care and it wont affect your career then don't shake their hands, however if you know that it can be bad for your company which in turn will be bad for you, then in these and in only these situations you should do it Allahu Alim.... I'm still debating on this... :unsure: It's hard being a Muslim in a non-Muslim country!

Just an example that I have posted before in the past which backs up my Imam's beliefs is when my mother's friend who has known my mom before I was born and in the African American culture, even if you are not cousins with each other by blood, if you have been real close friends with each other for basically life, you will be considered family. Usually in these situations it is not out of the norm for non relatives who have been friends for a long time to call each other cousin. AND FOR AMERICANS THIS IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT THAN MUSLIM COUSINS (unless your from the Dirty South :!!!: ) Anyway one day my mom's friend wanted to give me a hug and I refused and explained why I couldn't give her a hug. She was EXTREMELY insulted, began crying and even went to the extreme of calling Islam to be the "religion of the devil". She even got mad at my mom for not making me give her a hug, as if I'm a little kid :!!!:, When it's "family" like this I think it's even harder than the business setting, because for us marrying your cousins and even distant cousins is EXTREMELY DISGUSTING or is totally out of the norm and usually would not happen unless your from the dirty south. So when you explain the whole reasoning behind it they think you are crazy to even consider them to be marriage material. Its hard ya Allah! Really it becomes depressing like why do I have to even get involved in these situations. It really sucks, both situations family or business. Because where is the line drawn.... we get thawab for breaking a mustahab fast if we are invited to eat with people, because I have heard we do not want to offend the person offering us food, and there are other examples I can give but can't think of at the moment where a person receives thawab for not offending them like turning down a gift. However with shaking hands isn't it the same thing to where if the Muslim is in a country to where the CUSTOMS are totally opposite of Islam, and if violating these customs are considered rude, or in-polite etc. shouldn't we get thawab for....I don't know maybe these are excuses all I know is that its hard being Muslim in western countries and that being a Muslim is as my Shiekh says "is not fun"

Edited by abdullah218

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Even kissing cheeks is customary ... what about that? :huh:

Well! I agree there is no harm in shaking hands with someone of opposite gender esp., for Business or acadamic purposes!!

However we must recognize the fact, Western dont have a decent social system thanks to their social traditions like that....!!! shaking hands, kissing cheeks, huging etc etc...!!!

Anyway we can never be proud of social values of the West in any case!!

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wa alaikassalam

Masha Allah Ali Imran!!Its soooo wonderful that u did what Allah (sbt) has instructed u to do rather than just taking the easy way out!!Most definitely Allah (sbt) will reward u greatly especially since its the month of Ramadhan! Dont worry about a thing because Allah (sbt) has promised the true believers success in this wrld and the aakhirah. just leave it all to Him and everything will work out for the best. Wassalam and well done!!! :)

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Ok basically it is HARAM to even touch someone from the opposite gender, whether for business purposes or not. Doesnt matter what u THINk because at the end of the day, who has put u on this earth? who does it belong to? and people think that its ok because Allah is the Most Merciful! Yes He is, but is it fair that u expect His mercy when U cant even do ur part, i mean, its not like u'll be shot if u say that sorry i cant do this because its against my religion, most people will respect u more.

Edited by YaQaim

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