6 Rules for Job Interviews

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker in America holds 10 different jobs before the age of 40, and today’s youngest workers are projected to hold between 12 and 15 jobs in their lifetimes.

Far gone from the days of retiring after 40 years of working for the same company, interview skills are more crucial than they’ve ever been. Whether you’re interviewing for a job at a small business or a Fortune 500 company, check out these six tips for acing job interviews.

  1. Practice. Yes, you read that right. If the job you are interviewing for is important to you, then like everything else in life, practice makes perfect. Pull a list of generic interview questions off of the Internet and have your spouse/parent/friend interview you. This will help eliminate nerves and allow you to formulate answers to standard interview questions in advance.
  1. Research the company. You should know the expectations of the company you are interviewing for before you go to an interview. Research the company’s mission statement and requirements and obligations of the positioning you are seeking.
  1. Dress professionally. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it bears repeating. Regardless of the dress code at the business you are interviewing with, dressing professionally for an interview demonstrates respect and lets potential employers know that you are serious. Gentleman, you can’t go wrong with a suit and tie or a blazer and slacks. Ladies: no skirts above the knee, keep the heel height modest and the neckline appropriate. Fortune 500 interviews may warrant a power suit for both men and women in neutral colors like black, navy or gray.
  1. Arrive early. Punctuality is a vital asset in an employee—time is money as they say. Arriving late to a job interview immediately casts a negative shadow on you and leaves you flustered and anxious before the question and answer portion has even started.
  1. Ask questions. Once the relief settles in that no more questions are coming your way, feel free to ask your own questions. It is normal to have additional inquires about the company, the office environment or salary/benefits, and asking questions demonstrates a genuine interest to the interviewer.
  1. Follow up. A follow-up phone call or e-mail can be the thing that sets you apart from another potential employee. A day or two after your interview send a friendly e-mail or place a phone call letting your interviewer know that you enjoyed meeting them and look forward to hearing more from them regarding the position. This will help the proctor remember you in the case that he or she interviewed a large number of people for the same position. Common courtesy can go a long way.

5 Lunchtime Alternatives

Sitting at your desk all day can be mentally and physically draining, and when you work in an office environment, it may seem difficult to promote mental and physical health.

If you put in extensive hours at the office, you may have never given any thought to how you can utilize your work space, but no worries—we’re here to help! Even the smallest movements or the slightest changes to your routine can help reduce stress and increase productivity. Check out our five lunchtime alternatives for a happier, healthier work day!

1. Exercise at your desk
Exercise often becomes a scheduled even that you have to squeeze in before or after work, but you can do simple exercises right from your desk! Even moderate levels of movement throughout the day promote heart health and decrease the risks commonly associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

  • Waiting for a large document to print? Don’t just stand there! Try some low-impact calf raises by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and raising up on your toes. Hold the pose for a few seconds, and then lower yourself back down. Repeat this exercise until the document is finished!
  • While seated at your desk, straighten one or both legs out in front of you, and hold them in place for 10 seconds. Then raise your legs as high as you can for five more seconds. For added difficulty, hang your purse or something else with a little weight around your legs. You should feel this exercise in your calves and glutes.
  • For exercise and stress relief, sit with your feet flat on the floor, and clasp your hands together like you’re giving yourself a handshake. Pull your arms in opposite directions without letting go. The resistance should be felt in your biceps, but it’s also a great way to release a little tension. Hold it for 15 seconds, release and repeat

2. Stretch
Simple stretches for your neck, back and shoulders can do wonders for your productivity! If you’re tense due to stress, try keeping a stress ball at your desk, taking a lap around the office or stepping outside for a moment to get some fresh air.

3. Pack your lunch at home
It is a lot easier to stick to your guns about eating healthier when you pack your own meals. Throw in a wrap, fruits, vegetables and snacks like cheese, nuts and granola. Fast food is quick and cheap, but it will cost you a lot of money over time—not to mention your health. If you don’t have time to pack your lunch, try ordering the salad or another healthy option from the menu.

4. Take a walk
Depending on the length of your lunch break, try taking a walk. If you have an hour lunch, a leisurely walk can promote health and help clear your mind. If you only have 30 minutes, try a brisk walk around the office or parking lot to stretch your legs and jump start your productivity.

5. Socialize
Sitting in your cube or office alone all day staring at your computer can take a toll on your mind and cause you to lose momentum. Socialize with your coworkers during breaks or at lunch to bolster your motivation.

Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Small Business

While debt collection is certainly a niche industry, it still operates within the business realm. Especially when it comes to small businesses, keeping your environment, procedures and employees fresh and renewed is important to prevent becoming bogged down and burned out.

Since spring has arrived, why not take this opportunity to spring clean your office—and we don’t just mean finding hidden dust bunnies. Check out these spring cleaning tips for small businesses.

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  1. Clean up your web presence

There’s no doubt that Internet presence is more important than ever—no matter the industry. Your website should be user-friendly, clean and accessible. If you’re feeling good about your website, consider reaching out to potential clients or consumers in other ways, such as social media, blogging or advertisements.

Another refreshing way to clean up online is to encourage your employees to give their e-mail inboxes a good scrub. If you start every morning by logging into an inbox that is bombarded with unread, un-replied or old e-mails, it can really take a bite out of your productivity. Delete the old ones, sort the important ones into folders and try to respond as quickly and efficiently as possible so you don’t get behind.

  1. Offer praise

It is refreshing for your employees to hear about what they’ve accomplished so far this year. Since we’re almost at the halfway mark, consider having an office meeting or luncheon to discuss what your business has accomplished since the New Year and what you could be doing better. Taking time to recognize and appreciate your employees renews motivation.

  1. Clean up your processes

If your processes and procedures are outdated or need some revamping, what better time than spring to update? This is also a great time to make sure your company is taking advantage of any tools designed to increase efficiency in areas like banking, bookkeeping, recording, etc.

  1. Room for growth

You know what they say—April showers bring May flowers. Spring is all about growth, so this spring, consider assessing or reassessing whether your company needs to grow for improved performance. Maybe you’ve taken on more clients and need to hire more employees, or maybe you need to go out looking for those new clients. Either way, expansion is an exciting way to breathe new life into your company.

  1. Go green

Create a cleaner business environment by going paperless if possible. While some degree of paperwork is always necessary, try going digital where applicable. This is another area where online tools may come in handy!