Jump to content
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!) ×
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!)
In the Name of God بسم الله
Sign in to follow this  
Futuremedstudent

Shaking Hands during interviews

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Salam everyone:

I am interested to hear your experiences during interviews and the like where a person of opposite gender extends their hand to shake. I usually apologize and place my hand near my chest and with a slight bow I say "Sorry, I can't shake hands due to religious reasons". Is that response sufficient nowadays? What about for interviewing for health professions where people who don't know about Islam will think that if I can't shake hands, then how can I treat patients? 

I have consistently wondered that if jobs/careers/health professions etc. endorse diversity in their mission how come ways of greeting not included as diversity? How can we inform more people to let them know about Muslim handshaking so that everyone understands why one does not shake hands with the opp gender out of respect, not to disrespect.

I have also thought about not shaking the hands of anyone for the purpose of 'equality' especially in mixed panel style interviews. I guess this is one of the difficulties of living in the west unfortunately.

I would like to know what you all think and also how to deal with these scenarios now and during the career etc.

 

Edited by Futuremedstudent
fixed spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Futuremedstudent said:

I have also thought about not shaking the hands of anyone for the purpose of 'equality' especially in mixed panel style interviews.

Don't do that... they still understand sex boundaries and that males are generally more comfortable with males, and females generally more comfortable with females... Most will just think that you just follow a stricter version of this. Though, you're correct that there will always be some women who get offended because their immediate mindset is that it's 'another' sexist Islamic thing. 'Women aren't good enough to shake men's hands??'. Apparently, their secular liberal mindset impedes them from seeing handshakes as bilateral, lol. Teaching them about Islamic beliefs won't change their feminist egalitarian beliefs, whereby everything has to apply to women and men equally.

Edited by AmirioTheMuzzy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Ibn Al-Shahid said:

just say ure a hypochondriac or a mysophibic.

This is too elaborate... as you would have to extend it to all aspects of your life.

As an aside, it would be hilarious if OP wasn't a 'hypochondriac' to everyone in this scenario. :hahaha: "I'm only afraid of female germs".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Futuremedstudent said:

Islam will think that if I can't shake hands, then how can I treat patients

"I can't shake hands for religious reasons, unless medically necessary"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Ibn Al-Shahid said:

just say ure a hypochondriac or a mysophibic. Mental illness is much more respected than religion nowadays. Some people suggest they’re synonyms, but I don’t think so.

A doctor saying that he is a hypochondriac or mysophobic would seem rather odd, innit?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before the interview, it's smart to contact those who will be conducting the interview, and make it clear that you can't shake hands if any female extends her hands. I think most hiring managers will understand and will respect you for letting them know well in advance.

Don't make things awkward on the day because it'll affect your interview (you won't be in the right frame of mind). Keep in mind that recruitment managers are human beings too, and if you awkwardly refuse a handshake, it'll affect how they behave towards you in a very subtle way (not that they're purposefully going to do it). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As salaamun aleikum, 

Drs usually wear rubber gloves before they start touching people, so once you get to that point in your career, in sha Allah, just put gloves on immediately.

Up til that point, I personally think youre already doing a great job. Its the same thing I do when these occasions sneak up on me, however, when I KNOW I will be dealing with a male, like when visiting my  parents' male attorney, and knowing how these meetings generally end in handshakes, I prepare ahead of time by bringing a pair of thin black gloves that match my attire so I don’t look awkward. (I will, however,  look odd if it is a hot day:confused:)

But yes, the Islamic issue has to do with preventing bare skin contact with na mahram, not the shaking in snd of itself, so if at some point you believe you need to actually engage in the whole handshaking ritual, then try to have a pair of gloves handy. Use them with the guys too if youre worried about rowdying up some womans "issues".

Otherwise, I think youre doing a great job already:)

W/s

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ibn Al-Shahid said:

don’t doctors wear gloves?

Wearing gloves is just a normal protective measure they are not hypochondriac usually nor have a phobia of germs. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great replies. 

As far as contacting interviewers directly at least in health profession settings, they do not notify you on who's going to interview you unfortunately.  

Also wearing gloves does seem kind of awkward as usually I see people take their gloves off (winter etc.) before shaking someones hand (it may imply that someones hands are dirty thus I wear gloves etc.. of course that would not be the reason why one wears the gloves but people make assumptions.) . But I certainly understand that when ones a doc for example they should certainly wear gloves before examining patients. 

I personally don't see any reason to say to say I'm a hypochondriac (I'm not) as that just brushes off the actual reason why I don't shake hands. Sometimes I think people need to understand others customs and not take any offense and iA as more Muslims represent various sectors of the workplace it would become common practice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Ali~J said:

I'm just going to say that you're lucky they don't do hugging and kisses in your country as a greeting in the workplace.... 

I've always wondered how Muslims in those countries deal with that? Is it even more awkward than what Americans have to deal with?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, starlight said:

Wearing gloves is just a normal protective measure they are not hypochondriac usually nor have a phobia of germs. 

Yes but that would mean you can operate while wearing gloves because you wouldn’t be worried about germs being on your skin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

Before the interview, it's smart to contact those who will be conducting the interview, and make it clear that you can't shake hands if any female extends her hands. I think most hiring managers will understand and will respect you for letting them know well in advance.

Don't make things awkward on the day because it'll affect your interview (you won't be in the right frame of mind). Keep in mind that recruitment managers are human beings too, and if you awkwardly refuse a handshake, it'll affect how they behave towards you in a very subtle way (not that they're purposefully going to do it). 

I am a doctor. I had an interview for a job two years ago where one of the interviewers was female. She extended her hand to greet me but I refused politely stating that I don't shake hands for religious reasons. She felt a bit surprised and it was embarrassing for her, but I apologized and explained that I cannot shake hands.  The interview went very well and I was selected. I've been working with her since then and whenever we are seeing a female patient together and the patient extends her hands to great me, the lady Dr. herself explains to the patient that I cannot shake hands due to religious reasons. 

At other times, when I decline to shake hands, I receive all sorts of different and sometimes very interesting responses. 

Only yesterday when I refused to shake hands with the wife of a patient whom I had just examined, she said..."O yes, germs!". I didn't explain to her my reason was different! 

Once a white lady with whom I didn't shake hands surprised me when she said "jazakAllah" while drawing her hand back. I looked at her puzzled.  She said that her daughter had just converted to Islam recently and she too doesn't shake hands with men. The mother had learnt jazakAllah from her daughter. 

Once I placed my hands on my chest and bowed a little and I said I don't shake hands. The woman got totally confused and bowed herself and placed her hand on my hand which was on my chest! What can you do! 

Once a colleague wanted to give a hi-five to me and I said I can't do this. She got surprised and asked why. I said in my religion women are respected like Queens; an ordinary person will not have the audacity to touch a Queen. Apparently she really liked this concept. 

Most people don't mind at all, but there have been one or two incidents where the women didn't like that I didn't shake their hands. 

But sometimes physical contact is inevitable and beyond your control. What can you do when any female member of the staff very politely places her hand on your hand to request you to do something. It is not possible to explain to every single person before hand that you cannot have any physical contact. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some people will respond positively, others negatively.

 

Those who do negatively, assuming and hating, or even calling you a racist or something, you probably don't want to work for such a boss/... anyway. If it is just someone who is there to hire people or do the convos but won't be able to do much once you are in, then it is different, and we should not satisfy them by making a mistake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...