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5 Interview Tips to Help you get the Job

Okay, okay. You’ve probably heard them all before. There are lots of interview tips out there. What makes us different?

Well, we’ve looked through those tips. Here are the little things that we haven’t seen before.

1. Act like an interviewer

We don’t mean you should act like an interviewer in your actual interview (though you should definitely have questions prepared for when it’s appropriate to ask). What we want you to do is look into techniques for being an interviewer. Just like there are tips for you, there are tips for them. An interviewer might be giving away what they are looking for based on the questions they ask. This will help you answer to the best of your ability.

2. Find your weakness

What question are you afraid to answer? Why? Get to the bottom of it and make sure you practice the answer to that question. Don’t just hope it won’t come up. It will. So be ready.

3. Pick your time slot

What is your best time of day? When do you feel most alert? Some job interviews have a little leeway as to when you can schedule your interview. Try to make it work to your best advantage. And don’t forget to allow yourself plenty of time to get there.

4. Ask who will be interviewing you

Is it a guy, a girl, a panel, the CEO? This might just be a good thing to know before you walk into the room. It will keep you from being surprised. Also, if it’s someone high up in the company, you may want to do a little research on what their role is.

5. Have references ready, but not with you

You should definitely line up recommendations from you work history, however, it isn’t necessary to bring those recommendations with you. The interviewer or company will follow up on that if they deem it necessary, you don’t have to worry about it.

What tips have helped you get through interviews? What hasn’t worked? Share in the comments!

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17 LinkedIn Profile Must-Haves [Infographic]

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5 Reasons to Start Your Own Business

At BizTV, it’s no secret, we’re all about entrepreneurs, small business owners, and making your own way through the financial world.

Not included on this list: wearing pajamas to work

Today, we’re going to give you an excuse to join the ranks of the self-employed (as if you need one), and, hey, if you’re already there, maybe you have some of your own excuses to share in the comments.

1. Tax benefits

Bet you didn’t think that would be number 1, did you? But, it’s true. There are many tax benefits that the entrepreneur and small business owner can call their own. If you educate yourself on tax law, or hire a good accountant, there are expenses for your business that you can write off. If you employ your family, you can keep the money within the household. If you hire your children, you are relieved from withholding income taxes and paying payroll taxes, including Social Security, until the child turns 18. Also, you don’t pay federal unemployment until the child reaches 21. If you hire your spouse or parents, you don’t need to pay federal unemployment taxes on them either, though you must withhold federal income tax and pay FICA on them. Corporations are not allowed these tax breaks. Enjoy!

2. As long as you get your own work, you’re in charge of your own job security

This might be a double-edged sword if you aren’t good at selling yourself (read: get good at selling yourself). If you have a skill or product that’s in high demand, you’re on top. No one is going to downsize your department. You’re in charge of your own employment future.

3. You can challenge yourself

Think about your job right now. Are you challenged? Are you stimulated? Do you jump into work every day with a take charge attitude because you’re excited to solve the next puzzle that falls in your lap? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, take heed: every day with your own business is as challenging as you want it to be. Are you going to integrate a new technology? Are you going to find a way to appeal to a new customer base? You have the ability to explore and challenge yourself every day.

4. You are the expert

Think about how satisfying it would be to tell someone: “Trust me. I’m an expert.”

Well, when you own a business that provides a certain product or service, you have the right to say you’re an expert in that product or service. You know what you’re talking about. You’ve learned things to trial and error. You create your own expertise.

5. You’re in control of your own networking

What’s your passion? Have you ever wanted to find people who share that passion? As the owner of your own business, you have the right to pursue the opportunities with those people who share your interests. In fact, it’s encouraged. Go to conferences. Go to meetups. You’ll find the people worth knowing in your industry.

Those are some of our reasons to get out of the rat race and join the self-employment movement. What made you leap from regular employment to entrepreneurship? Share in the comments!

The 12 Best Jobs in 2014 [INFOGRAPHIC]

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5 Reasons your Startup should Hire a Recent Grad

The job market isn’t doing great. For recent grads, finding a job is hard. Finding a job that leads 5 Reasons your Startup should Hire a Recent Graddown a solid career path is even harder. More and more grads are going from college back to their parents’ house. Recently, the big trend has been grads starting their own business.

Before you throw out that resume because it lacks experience, take a moment to consider these reasons you should hire a recent grad:

1. They will learn and they will learn fast

If you get a college grad fresh from commencement, you’re getting an eager learner who is ready to start life as an adult. They are young and they are just coming out of an institution that was promoting learning. When you get them in the trenches, they will still be in the learning mindset.

This isn’t to say that you need to hover over them and be their mentor. What it does mean is that when you correct something they did wrong, they won’t do it wrong again. When you ask them to find a new way to do something, they’ll research and work hard.

This is especially valuable in a startup where people need to wear many hats and do multiple jobs. You’ll have someone who can handle the load and adapt.

2. They’ll socialize

Young employees don’t necessarily have the same burden as older employees. They won’t have the family, they won’t have the mortgage, and, they’ll spend time socializing outside the office. It’s not an exaggeration to say young people have more energy. When they talk with each other, they’ll talk about the job and spread the word.

3. You give them room to grow

The promise of growth is a great motivator. When you have a startup, growth of an individual job is often linked to the growth of the company. They’ll be able to see in real time that their work is paying off. When you invest in them, they will invest in you.

4. Hours are flexible

Like I said before, recent grad employees don’t have the same obligations as older employees. Their work hours can be different than the 9 to 5. Find out what their best work times are and let them work those hours. You can get them at their most productive .

5. Technology

You can’t let a misunderstanding of technology hold your business back. Recent grads know their tech. That’s not to say that you need to put them on your biggest tech-heavy jobs, but they will be faster at learning new systems. They also understand the nature of social media and communication better.

What are your top reasons for hiring a recent grad? Are you a recent grad that chose to join a startup? Tell us about your experience in the comments!

Get Ahead in Your Job Search

Searching and applying for jobs can be a full time job in and of itself. If you’re entering the job market, you know it isn’t the easiest place to be.

So many things can go wrong, so why not stay ahead with a few of our tips and tricks.Get Ahead in Your Job Search

1. Sleep it off

Remember to get a lot of sleep. Like I said above, searching and applying for jobs is like a full time job itself. And, let’s face it, if you’re like most Americans, you don’t get enough sleep on a good day. So, if you land that interview, make sure you rest up.

2. Prepare your questions

You should always have a list of questions ready to go and definitely have some for the end of the interview. Have more than you need, given that there’s a chance some of the questions will be answered during the interview process. It might seem sneaky, but having questions shows you how much you care about getting the position. Once you land that interview, you have time to do your research. Take some notes. Prepare.

3. Stay up to date

It might seem obvious, but some people show up to their interviews with out-of-date resumes. Or, they sent out-of-date resumes to get the job and show up with up-to-date ones. If you get an interview within a month of applying, you shouldn’t have any changes on the resume. The copy you bring should match the copy you applied with.

Also, if you plan on using your LinkedIn profile to help you land the job (which you certainly should), don’t forget to keep that up-to-date as well. Now that your colleagues have the opportunity to endorse you, it can be a great way to show off recommendations without having to ask someone for a letter.

4. Don’t lie

A lot of people misrepresent themselves in a job interview and often pass it off as ‘everybody lies.’ Except, nowadays, you can get a whole lot easier. Besides, it’s just a bad idea.

5. Prepare

Depending on the type of job you’re applying for, you should have some understanding of what they want to hear. What was your customer service experience? Think about some specific incidents where you helped a customer, or calmed a customer, or got a customer to yes. For a social media coordinator, how have you built a social platform for someone? If you are just starting out, how have you built your own social network? Be ready with specifics, because chances are, they will ask.

Do you have any tips for the job search? How have you nailed the interview? Share in the comments below.

Intuit Inc. reports Small Business Employment Index Shows 0.3 Percent Job Growth for December

Small business employment continued to show growth in December with hours worked up and wages flat.

“We might expect that after months of high hours per employee, that businesses would hire and hours would fall back to normal. Instead, we see hiring up and hours worked up also. These are good signs for the recovery.”

Those were among the results of this month’s update of the Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq:INTU) Small Business Employment Index. The monthly report found that small business employment grew by 0.3 percent in December, equating to an annual growth rate of about 3.4 percent. This translates to approximately 57,000 new jobs created nationwide. The Index is based on figures from the country’s smallest businesses that use Intuit Online Payroll.

“Small business is still the most vigorous sector of the employment picture,” said Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the Index. “We generally see a rise in employment for all businesses in December, but this year it is unusually strong. We can hardly see the recovery in overall national employment, but among small businesses, the recovery, albeit slow, is unambiguous.”

Based on this latest data, the employment growth rate for November was revised upward to 0.4 percent, equating to 73,000 jobs added for the month and a 4.4 percent annual growth rate. Since the growth trend first began in October 2009, small business jobs have increased by a revised estimate of 880,000.

Compensation Flat, Hours Worked Up

Total compensation per employee was flat in December while hours worked were up, compared to November.

Average monthly pay for all small business employees was $2,607 per month in December, a nearly 0.1 percent decline, which is considered flat, from the revised November figure of $2,609 per month. This translates to wages of about $31,300 per year, which is part-time work for many small business employees.

The weakness of the overall employment picture is still reflected in small business compensation,” said Woodward. “Though small businesses are hiring and asking their people to work longer hours, they don’t have to pay more to get people. While compensation is flat, these numbers don’t mean that people didn’t get overtime and bonuses in December – they did. But on a seasonal and trend adjusted basis, compensation is not up.”

Small business hourly employees worked an average of 107.5 hours in December, translating to a 24.8-hour work week. This is a nearly 0.2 percent increase from the revised November figure of 107.3 hours.

“Hours are still strong,” added Woodward. We might expect that after months of high hours per employee, that businesses would hire and hours would fall back to normal. Instead, we see hiring up and hours worked up also. These are good signs for the recovery.”

Small Business Employment by Geography

The Intuit Index also breaks down employment by census divisions and states across the country.

“All divisions continued to show employment growth except for the West North Central division, which continued to see job losses for the sixth month in a row,” said Cameron Schmidt, vice president of Intuit’s Employee Management Solutions division. “Most states saw increases in employment with Washington seeing the strongest increase month over month.”

U.S. Census Division Percent Change in Employment
East North Central +0.2%
West North Central -0.2%
Middle Atlantic +0.3%
Mountain +0.2%
New England +0.4%
Pacific +0.3%
South Atlantic +0.3%
East South Central +0.3%
West South Central +0.4%

Small Business Employment by U.S. Census Division continues to grow in most parts of the country except for the West North Central division. The data reflects employment from nearly 60,000 small business employers who use Intuit Online Payroll. The month-to-month changes are seasonally-adjusted and informative about the overall economy.

State Percent Change in Employment
Arizona +0.5%
California +0.2%
Florida +0.4%
Georgia +0%
Illinois +0%
Maryland +0.5%
Massachusetts +0.4%
New Jersey +0.5%
New York -0.1%
North Carolina +0.1%
Texas +0.5%
Virginia +0.4%
Washington +0.6%

Small Business Employment by State is up for many states across the country with the highest increases month over month in Maryland and Washington. The states above reflect those for which Intuit Online Payroll has more than 1,000 small business firms represented. The month-to-month changes are seasonally-adjusted and informative about the overall economy.

About the Index

The Intuit Small Business Employment Index is based on aggregate and anonymous online employment data from nearly 60,000 small business employers, each with fewer than 20 employees. These small businesses use Intuit Online Payroll from Intuit, the No. 1 payroll provider with more than 1 million customers. These smallest employers are important to the economy as they comprise 87 percent of the total U.S. private employer base and employ nearly 20 million people. More information is available at: www.intuitinc.com/payrollindex.

Intuit reports data for three categories: small business employment, compensation and hours worked. Intuit analyzes and publishes the data at the beginning of each month. The Index also includes employment data broken down by geography. As with the government data, there may be revisions to the Intuit Index numbers. These revisions are partly due to calculations using the latest month of new Intuit data. These calculations include re-computing seasonal factors and the moving average process used to obtain the curve, which can change the values for previously reported months. Changes to the data are also due to revisions to the government employment data, which is used to calculate the Intuit Index.

While the Intuit Small Business Employment Index offers macroeconomic insight about the economy generally, it does not indicate or represent changes in Intuit’s business results for any period.

The Index data reflects monthly employment activity in small businesses, and is adjusted to account for changes in Intuit’s Online Payroll customer base. The percent change is measured monthly using the change in employment for existing Intuit Online Payroll customers from one month to the next. The set of customers changes each month so the measurement is the change, for each pair of months, for customers who are present in both the earlier and the later month.

 

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