How to shake hands with the audition panel

It depends really on the formality of the audition and the panel who are auditioning you, but more often than not if it’s a one-on-one audition, it’s fine to shake hands with the audition panel. If they offer then of course it would be rude not too, but if the audition seems quite relaxed then it’s also ok for you to offer as well, providing there’s not about ten people on the panel and if you shake one person’s hand, then another’s, you need to now do the whole line, just making it a little strange now and taking ages to get through everyone!

However, if the panel seem a little stand offish, formal, running late or in a big rush to get through all the people who are auditioning as quickly as possible, if they are too far away from the door or you and they want to get straight to it, or if you are in a group audition (if you offer to shake hands and no one else does that makes you stand out as someone who, well, really wants to stand out), then it might be better to give it a miss. As said, this is something you have to judge when you walk in the room, but the more auditions you go to the more you’ll be able to get a feel for the situations and what you should do.

A bit more about how to prep for an audition and how to carry yourself, which you may find useful or not:

Try to relax when you’re in there but I can only say ‘try to, because you probably won’t ever be totally relaxed in an audition room. But calm yourself down, tell yourself - and know it - that you have done all you can, and just go in there and enjoy it. If you’re calm, it shows you’re on it, shows you know what you’re doing, and it’ll free yourself up to be at your best.

Get there on time, or much, much better, early. Again you’ll be relaxed, if there’s any extra work they’ve given you to prepare on the day you’ll have time to do it, and if you want to make additional notes on top of the ones you’ve already got, you can do that too. Sometimes I find the notes I make just before I go in are much better than the ones I’ve been thinking about for a week.

When you get in, walk straight into the room with confidence, but not arrogance. I swear I knew I got a job once 3 seconds after walking into the room. Be polite, and professional but try to get it across that you’re also the guy that can/would do anything. Know your stuff, but break the rules at some point. Many parts have been won this way.

When you’re in there though and just talking, don’t stray away from the character you’re playing too much. If the character is charming and confident, it’s not going to help you if you’re fidgeting, not giving eye contact, not standing still, and vice-versa.

At the end, get out of there. Don’t hang around – unless they’re talking to you for ages and seem to want to keep you there, then hang around all you want! But when they dismiss you, it’s time to go. Sometimes they just want you to shut up and leave because they’ve just cast you in the role and don’t need to see any more. It’s happened to me and many others, so if they’re strangely abrupt, don’t worry. And if they jump and want to shake hands with you straight away, probably all the better!