Tips to success interview at phone

images-9Hiring a new employee is often a multi step process for most companies. Rather than investing time in an in person interview up front, hiring managers often add a phone interview in between to screen candidates they think would be an appropriate fit.

“With the [number] of job seekers applying for roles, conducting a phone interview or phone screen upfront saves both the company and candidates time and money up front,” said Chris Jemo, vice president of talent acquisition at The Connor Group, which owns and operates luxury apartment communities.

Though it’s an important step, a phone call is limiting. As the candidate, you should prepare for this step to solidify your spot for an in-person interview with the hiring manager.

“The biggest disadvantage [of a phone interview] is the lack of face-to-face interaction,” said Jane Trnka, executive director of the Career Resource Center at Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business. “Interviewers don’t get to see how you present yourself, so what you say and how you say it is so important. Your tone of voice and how you respond to and ask questions will indicate your interest and passion for the role, organization and industry.”

Before the call

Get relevant information up front

When called or emailed to schedule time to interview via phone, ask with whom you’ll be talking and how long the call will take, Trnka said. Get the name and contact information of the person who is scheduling the interview, and find out who will be making the call.

Trnka cautioned against interviewing on the spot. If you are called and told that the company’s rep wants to ask a few questions now, thank them for the opportunity, and then politely suggest a different time later in the day. This will give you time to collect your thoughts and refocus on the role, company, and your skills and talents, she said.

Confirm the appointment

The day before or the morning of the interview, Trnka advised emailing the person who scheduled the call to confirm it. Not only will this help you to prepare, but it also demonstrates that you are organized and that you are looking forward to the opportunity to talk about the role and your contributions the company’s success.

Make notes

The beauty of a phone interview is that you can have notes with you, said Kaitlyn Apfelbeck, human resources manager at Voices.com, a voiceover marketplaceReview the job description thoroughly before the interview; make notes so you can talk about the experiences you have that align with the requirements and expectations of the role. Even if it is a phone screen, you will want to sound intelligent about the opportunity and company.

“Write down major themes you know you’ll want to touch on, such as strengths, weaknesses, career goals, etc., and then have points under each,” Apfelbeck said.

Be prepared

Just before your scheduled call, make sure you have everything you’ve sent to an employer — your resume, cover letter, portfolio, etc. — on hand and organized, so you can refer to them during the interview, Trnka said.

During the call

Find a private area

Treat it as an in-person interview. Be somewhere quiet without distraction or background noise.

“Be [in your chosen quiet location] least five minutes prior to the scheduled time to be prepared,” Jemo said.

Apfelbeck added that you should also avoid doing the interview in the car, especially if you’re driving.

“[Talking in the car] is loud, and very distracting to the interviewer,” shesaid. “It’s also incredibly dangerous. Needless to say, there is a lack of overall unpreparedness that is not in a candidate’s favor.”

Accounting Tips That You Need to Know

unduhan-14What’s the difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper? What are accounting ratios, accounts receivables and accounts payables? And what exactly does your accountant mean when she says your financial statements need to follow GAAP standards?

Whether you do your own accounting, have an in-house accountant or hire a third party accounting firm, having a grasp on accounting speak can help your business tremendously. Not only will it allow you to understand your numbers better, but it will also help you make wiser business decisions. To help you get started, here are some basic accounting terms small business owners need to know, followed by our reference guides.

Accounts payable are the bills and other debts that the business needs to pay. As a matter of fact, the only thing that a business pays that is not considered accounts payable is payroll. Everything else falls under the category, making it a critical aspect of your business.

“The accuracy and completeness of a company’s financial statements are dependent on the accounts payable process,” said Harold Averkamp, founder and author of accounting advice website Accounting Coach. “The efficiency and effectiveness of the accounts payable process will also affect the company’s cash position, credit rating and relationship with its suppliers.”

Implementing a dependable accounts payable system will produce accurate financial information you need to plan for both the short and long term. Here’s what you need to know about keeping up with your business debts.

Small Business Loans Tips

unduhan-15Kabbage offers small businesses lines of credit of between $2,000 and $100,000. Each time you draw against your line of credit, you have six or 12 months to pay that money off. Instead of paying interest, however, you pay fees of between 1 and 12 percent each month. To apply, fill out an online application and link the system to either your business bank account or an online service you are already using, such as QuickBooks. Kabbage’s platform automatically reviews the data on those sites to determine if you meet the company’s standards for a loan. The process typically takes just minutes to complete. Once approved, you have instant access to your loan. Go here for our full review of Kabbage.

Best Startup Loans: Accion

Accion is a nonprofit microlender that specializes in small business loans. It offers loans specifically for startups that have been open for less than six months. Accion’s loan amounts and minimum requirements vary by state. Among the more common requirements are a minimum credit score of 575, sufficient cash flow and proof of income. Maximum loan amounts range from $10,000 to $100,000. Applications can be filled out online, with approval usually taking place within one month. Accion’s loans, most of which have annual percentage rates starting at 10.99 percent, are repaid on a monthly basis over the length of the loan. Go here for our full review of Accion.

Best Merchant Cash Advances: RapidAdvance

RapidAdvance offers merchant cash advances of between 50 and 250 percent of your monthly credit card volume. Loans are repaid by giving RapidAdvance a fixed percentage of future card receipts until the loan is paid off. To qualify, you need to have been in business for at least three months, have at least $2,500 in monthly credit card receivables and have a physical location for your business. You can apply for the advance online or over the phone. The approval process can be completed in 24 hours, with funds available within three days. Go here for our full review of RapidAdvance.

Best Bad Credit Loans: OnDeck

OnDeck offers fixed-rate loans of between $5,000 and $250,000. To qualify, you need a minimum credit score of 500 and an annual revenue of at least $100,000, and must have been in business for at least one year. Loans have lengths ranging from three to 24 months and are paid back on a daily or weekly basis. You can apply for a loan online or over the phone. Approval can be completed in just a few minutes, with funds deposited into your account within 24 hours. Go here for our full review of OnDeck.

Best Equipment Loans: Crest Capital

Crest Capital offers equipment financing of up to $1,000,000. Financial documents aren’t needed for financing of less than $250,000. The lender has a wide range of loan and lease terms, including fixed-rate loans, $1 purchase agreements, 10 percent purchase options, fair-market-value leases, guaranteed purchase agreements and operating leases. To qualify, you must have been in business at least two years and have a minimum credit score of 650. The approval process can be completed in as fast as 4 hours. Go here for our full review of Crest Capital.

Our Methodology

To determine the best alternative lenders, we started with a pool that included all of the lenders on the comprehensive list below. After some preliminary investigation, including a look at other best-pick lists and initial research into each lender, we interviewed small business owners to discover new lenders to add to our list. We also eliminated peer-to-peer lenders and online sites that match businesses with lenders, because these lenders didn’t fit into this year’s best-pick categories.

Ultimately, we settled on 28 alternative lenders to research as best picks: Accion, American Business Credit Services, American Capital Group, American Express, Amerifund, Ascentium Capital, Balboa Capital, BFS Capital, CAN Capital, Crest Capital, Dealstruck, Direct Capital, Fora Financial, ForwardLine, Fundation, Kabbage, Kalamata Capital, Keystone Leasing, Merchant Advisors, OCM Financial, OnDeck, PayPal, RapidAdvance, Rapid Capital Funding, Shield Funding, SnapCap and Square. (See below for the full list of alternative lenders.)

Next, we researched each lender by investigating the types of loans it offered, the amount of money that could be borrowed and for how long, the application and approval process, and repayment procedures. We also considered any general term-rates that were listed on these lenders’ websites. After narrowing the list to 18 final contenders, we contacted each lender’s customer-service department by phone, and live chat if possible, and posed as business owners in order to gauge the type of support each company offered.

Tips to Loooking for a Job

People look for new jobs for a number of reasons, and oftentimes, they do so while they’re still employed. It’s easy to get excited at the prospect of a new position, but you should be smart about how you approach your job search — remember, you still have a responsibility to your current employer.

If you’re trying to land a new job while you still have one, here are six tips to help you balance your efforts and avoid trouble with your boss.

Don’t search on company time

The responsibilities of your current job come first, so it’s important for you to dedicate time outside of work hours to search for a new position.

“To put yourself in the right frame of mind, it may be beneficial to block out a time that will be used exclusively to peruse job postings, research companies and submit your resume,” said Gabe Bristol, CEO of Intelicare Direct. “This will keep you free of distractions and focused on applying for jobs. I recommend a minimum block of 2 hours; this can be done before work, after work or on your lunch hour.”

Keep it to yourself

Your job search is a personal decision. Even if you trust your colleagues, you can’t control what they share with others. It’s best to stay mum about your plans so it doesn’t get around to the wrong people.

“To look [for a new job] while currently working requires wisdom — the wisdom to know who to tell, who to lean on and who not to tell,” said Maria Sirois, a clinical psychologist at the Kripalu Center.”The best approach is often to remain private about your goals and actions at your current workplace until [it is] clear that you will be supported.”

Play it safe online

Be careful when visiting job boards or using social media to conduct your search. A single status update could be enough to alert your employer. You can further minimize the risk of being caught by ensuring your privacy settings are tight and using services that mask your identity when posting your resume online.

Schedule smartly

Most hiring managers understand that you will need to make arrangements to communicate or meet outside of office hours. Schedule interviews for before or after work, or during your lunch break if time allows.

“If you say to a potential [employer], ‘I would prefer to interview before or after my workday, or possibly during my lunch break, because I’m busy [at work] and [my team] relies on me during the day,’ you are indirectly stating that you not only have integrity but are a highly valued employee,” Bristol said.

Take stock of your talents 

Sirois suggested taking time to consider your best skills and qualities, both in your current and past roles.

“Record what strengths you use and talents you demonstrate,” she said. “Notice if you are at your best in teams or on your own, with ideas or plans or both.”

As you reflect on your optimal self, you will not only better understand the kind of environment that makes sense for you, but you also will have learned how to articulate your best qualities to potential employers, Sirois said.

Continue to work hard

Bristol suggested you put forth your best work and retain strong relationships within your current office, because you may need to use your current boss or co-workers as references for future jobs. However, loyalty to your current employer shouldn’t preclude you from looking for other opportunities if you are not satisfied with your current role or company, he noted.

“It is important to remember that you are not doing anything wrong when looking for a job,” Bristol said. “It is, in fact, your personal obligation to look for better opportunities if you are truly not emotionally, intellectually or financially fulfilled.”

 

Great Cover Letters Tips

Your resume may be the first thing hiring managers look at when you apply for a job, but many candidates tend to forget about another important part of the application process: the cover letter.

Matthew Rowles, business development manager at staffing firm Kavaliro, noted that employers don’t always read cover letters due to the massive volume of applications received for each job opening. However, some will use it as the next step in candidate screening after reading resumes.

“People [who read cover letters] do it after the fact,” added Jeff Oddo, president of building maintenance management company City Wide Maintenance. “They look at your skills first on your resume, and then read the cover letter [to decide] if they want to bring you in for an interview.”

Oddo, who is involved in the hiring process for his company, noted that cover letters tend to be ignored when they’re generic and template-style. Rowles agreed, noting that each new application should come with a new, unique cover letter outlining why you are qualified and the best fit for that specific position.

“Do not simply send the same generic cover letter for every position,” Rowles told Business News Daily. “Recruiters and HR managers will recognize those cover letters and skip right over them. If you want your cover letter to be read, make it uniquely suited for that particular role.”

In addition to using your cover letter to expand on your key qualifications, you can also address unique topics, such as employment gaps on your resume, a willingness to relocation or the desire for a career change, said Crystal Wittman, head of global recruitment center at talent acquisition and management firm Alexander Mann Solutions.

“If there’s a need to relocate, use the cover letter as an opportunity to point out that you’re open to relocation, especially if you already have a connection to the area through family or school,” Wittman said. “This will help alleviate any apprehensions that a hiring manager has about hiring someone who is new to the area. If you’re changing careers or industries, relate examples of your experience that will help you prepare [for the change] and are relevant to the new job.”

Wittman also advised including information about any internal connections or referrals from current employees at the company early on in the letter. Do this by including the person’s name and department. For example, you could write, “A former colleague of mine, (name), is a director in your marketing department. She alerted me to a new role in your sales organization for which my skills and experience would be very well-suited,” Wittman said.

Finally, before you submit your cover letter, be sure to check it over for spelling and grammatical errors and take the time to convert the document to PDF format, which makes it easier for the hiring manager to access and forward your letter.

“We like PDFs,” Oddo said. “Often, I am mobile when I’m reading these applications, and sometimes phones don’t open documents the same way a tablet or computer would.”

Cover letter examples

Based on these tips, here are two sample cover letters that you can customize to suit your particular needs and situation. Before you apply for any job, be sure to thoroughly read the job listing, as they may ask you to address specific things in your cover letter.

Traditional cover letter

Here is an example of a traditional cover letter that outlines your skills and qualifications. This type of letter does best for highly professional occupations that value straightforward, to-the-point information.

Dear [hiring manager’s name],

I spotted your LinkedIn posting about the assistant editor opening at Business News Daily, and I am thrilled to submit my application for the position. During my career in the media industry, I have gained a great deal of editorial experience that would make me a strong asset to your team.

During my time at New York University, I held several internships and freelance writing jobs that introduced me to the world of modern journalism. After graduation, I landed a managing editor position at [publication name] that helped me develop and hone the leadership, organization and strategic planning skills that will help me succeed as your assistant editor. With the assistance of the interns and freelancers I supervise, I have raised the monthly web traffic of [publication] by more than 50 percent and nearly tripled its overall social media following.

In addition to having the necessary background for this position, I also feel that working for Business News Daily would be an excellent next step in my career. I have been following your articles on social media, and I think your publication adds a unique and valuable perspective on entrepreneurship, small business issues and careers. As a millennial myself, I especially enjoy the pieces you’ve published on Generation Y in the workforce.

Job Searching Tips

Modern job seekers have their work cut out for them. Although it’s easier than ever to find opportunities online, candidates must wade through numerous job postings on multiple sites and customize their application to suit each job. How your resume is built, the way you conduct yourself online and the way you approach applying for jobs all affect the outcome.

From applying to jobs to following up after an interview, here’s everything you need to know about successfully applying for a job in the digital age.

Building your resume

The way you craft your resume for submission for an online application directly affects whether it will make it past any applicant tracking system (ATS). These systems determine whether your application is seen by a hiring manager or not.

According to Michael Krikheli, co-founder of ZipJob, the use of ATS software has risen dramatically over the last few years. More than 95 percent of large companies use an ATS, and the number of midsize companies using ATS has increased to more than 50 percent.

Krikheli suggests crafting your resume to be adjusted not just for the company, but also for the applicant tracking systems. Here are a few tips for the best chances for a follow-up:

  • Ensure you have the correct keywords related to the position or industry.
  • Make sure that there are no grammatical or spelling errors. Microsoft Word is not enough to correct all your mistakes; send it to a friend or a professional to review.
  • Send your resume in a .doc or .docx file.

“Your resume should be optimized for the ATS, but keep in mind that someone will read the resume once it gets through,” Krikheli said. “Ensure your resume is optimized for the ATS and is also easy to read and effective when a recruiter looks at it.”

Ensuring you have a solid resume should be the first step, as this is the first impression you will make to the employer, Krikheli added.

When it comes to tailoring your resume, the first step is to thoroughly understand the job description, said Leah Paul, director of marketing at Mediabistro.

“Figure out what the most important skills are for the job and reorganize your resume to highlight those accomplishments in your experience first,” Paul said. “You want to use the keywords used in the job description, but not verbatim.”

According to Paul, there’s no need to list all your accomplishments in each position if they’re not relevant. Any “soft skills” or secondary accomplishments that are useful but not priorities for the role can be listed toward the bottom in a separately labeled section, she said.

Applying to jobs

The use of online recruiting tools and technology has increased dramatically over the last few years. The near-endless options of websites and apps to use emphasize the importance of correctly doing so.

While there are multiple places to which you can apply, like LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Mediabistro, etc., candidates should first go directly to companies they’re interested in. Check those companies’ career sites and follow them on social media channels, Paul suggests. In addition to a presence on LinkedIn, most big companies have dedicated recruiting accounts on Twitter or Facebook that post job openings.

“Lots of smaller companies and startups might not have a careers page or even a dedicated recruiting team, so an alternative is to go to your favorite job board and set up a job alert,” Paul said. “If you don’t have any target companies, but know what you want to be doing, conduct your searches on keywords and phrases that speak to the responsibilities you hope to have in your next role. Or search for the qualifications you have.”

Tracking your progress

It’s easy to get lost in the mix when you’re applying. Firing off multiple emails a day without actually keeping track of your activity can mean a lost opportunity to follow up. To combat this, if you see a position that’s listed on a job board, create an account with that [job board] to keep track of the jobs that you’ve applied to.

“If you’re applying via multiple sites, a good filing system is needed. I used to use a spreadsheet that kept track of the job title, company, link to the job posting and date I applied,” Paul said. “Too often, the job posting would be taken down by the time the interview rolled around, and I didn’t have the description to reference anymore.”

So be sure to be cognizant of the description for a better follow-up, should the opportunity present itself.

Following up

Once you’ve submitted your application, you can use sites like LinkedIn or face-to-face networking events to build your professional network.

Paul suggests that you network with someone at the company to get yourself noticed and to give yourself a better chance for a follow-up.

“Don’t try to get your application in via back channels before you’ve formally applied. Apply first, then try to get a leg up via your network,” she said. “A simple note from an employee to the hiring manager or recruiter stating that they’d like to refer an acquaintance who has submitted an application is the best way to get your resume looked at. In those cases, even if you’re not selected, they will follow up with you or the referring employee, so you’ll get your chance to find out your status either way.”

Mistakes to avoid

Like any skill, applying to jobs takes time and comes with a learning curve. Mistakes will be made. However, it’s prudent to learn the best practices when you’re submitting an application. You want to always come off as professional and avoid making common mistakes, which can often make you look unprofessional.

According to Paul, job seekers most often make these mistakes while applying online:

Edit your work. To avoid typos, be sure to spellcheck you work and have a second pair of eyes on anything you plan to submit. Be careful not to use language that’s inappropriate or too casual. Those mistakes, specifically, will ruin any chances you have of making a good first impression.

Not reading the entire job posting.It is very common to just focus on the bulleted lists of responsibilities and qualifications, but the other details that are provided in the job description are important. Often, this is where specific instructions for applying will be mentioned.

Having a less-than-perfect online presence.In addition to your resume and cover letter, your online presence needs to be pruned before you apply anywhere. This is especially true on LinkedIn, but also on any other platforms where you have profiles (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). If your resume does get noticed, the first thing a recruiter or hiring manager will do is Google you and look you up on social media.

Focusing too much on the job title.A manager at one company is a specialist at another. Job seekers should focus on the responsibilities of the role to determine if it’s the right level for their expertise and career goals, because you could be missing out on other opportunities that are perfect, but are just not labeled as you’d think.

Regardless of what you want to do, you should sit down and make a list of goals you would like to achieve, with an emphasis on what makes you happy, writes Catherine Fisher for LinkedIn. Include all of your goals, both big and small. If you need ideas for work goals, search on LinkedIn for people in the companies or industries you’re interested in to identify the skills you need to grow in your career, as well as the various career paths others have taken — that you can take, too.

Tips to Writing For Apply Job

How do you continue to stand out after a successful job interview has wrapped? Send a thank you note. No matter the person, gratitude leaves a lasting impression.

“It is a common courtesy to thank busy people for taking the time to give you an opportunity to display your talents. In today’s job market, anything you can do to differentiate yourself from the competition is good,” said Laura Kerekes, chief knowledge officer at ThinkHR. “Sending [thank-you] notes may seem outdated, but everyone appreciates hearing that the time they spent was considered valuable.”

Recap your skills

The exercise of the thank-you note is a great opportunity to remind the interviewers about how your skills tie to their hiring needs.

“There are [probably] multiple candidates interviewing for the position, and many of those candidates may have skills similar to yours,” Kerekes said. “Taking the time to let them know of your interest after the meeting and telling them you’re already thinking about what you could do to create value for their company could set you apart from the competition.”

When writing your thank-you note, you don’t want to come off as desperate, but you don’t want to be too cavalier about your interview experience, either.

“By simply saying ‘thank you,’ the impression you make is that you’re confident but not desperate, skilled but not selfish,” said S. Chris Edmonds, author, and founder and CEO of The Purposeful Culture Group. “You’re not demanding they hire you or demanding they let you know by Friday, at latest. You’re being nice and emphasizing your talents.”

Stand out with extra effort

Most experts recommend sending your thank-you note via email within a day of the interview to ensure timely delivery. However, you may also consider sending a handwritten note.

According to the Harvard Business Review, handwritten notes are unusual, but they can be effective when sent in conjunction with an emailed thank you. They take time to draft, each word carefully chosen with no “undo” or “autocorrect” to fall back on. A handwritten thank you involves selecting stationery, paying for stamps and visiting a mailbox. The notes indicate investment, and that very costliness indicates value, said article author John Coleman.

“While saying ‘thank you’ is important, the beauty of a well-crafted handwritten note is that it can show deeper investment and appreciation than a simple thank you can,” Coleman wrote.

Time it right

Timing is an important aspect of sending a thank-you note. Regardless of the actual schedule of the hiring process, the time between the interview and the note is important.

“Send a quick email [thank-you note] within 24 hours,” Edmonds said. “Mail your handwritten thank you within 24 hours as well. That way, it’ll arrive a day or two following your email note, adding gravitas to your thoughtfulness.”

The timing of the hiring process itself should be discussed during the actual interview, and shouldn’t be part of the actual thank-you note. Kerekes advised waiting until the agreed upon “hear back” date to follow up again.

“Respect the process that the company has set. It looks desperate when applicants follow up even when they know the company is still working through the process,” Kerekes said. “The only exception to this would be when you have another job offer and you need to get back to the other employer with a decision.”

Future Career Tips

Internships help prepare college students and recent graduates for their future careers by allowing them to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it in real-life situations and environments. Some internships are paid and others aren’t, but regardless, both students and companies benefit from the experience, experts say.

“It is vital that a student understands what they are getting into before becoming fully invested in the career path that they choose,” said Todd Rothman, an educator and partner/co-founder of wyzPREP, which prepares students for the Graduate Management Admission Test (commonly called the GMAT). Internships provide the opportunity to work alongside mentors and peers, and gain experience you cannot get in a classroom, he added.

A competitive climate

Just like the job market, the internship climate is extremely competitive, with tons of applicants competing for the same job. Nowhere is that more evident than in California’s Silicon Valley, Jeff Selingo, author of “There is Life After College,” wrote on LinkedIn. Each summer, thousands of college students descend on the technology mecca to work as interns at a mix of startups and Fortune 100 companies. During those three months, these companies are looking for the best students in their intern pools — as well as those at other firms — and putting a full-court press on them to commit to permanent jobs after they graduate, Selingo said.

According to Selingo, more companies are hiring from their intern pools. This means recruiters have shifted their attention from hiring soon-to-graduate seniors as full-timers to scoping out juniors, even as early as the fall term, to be interns the next summer.

“Internships are increasingly the only way for new applicants to get in the door at some companies,” Selingo wrote. “Postings for internships now make up a significant proportion of the overall entry-level job openings in several industries, including engineering, graphic design, communications, marketing and information technology.”

“Everybody wants to get a chance to prove themselves, and many companies now treat internships as a trial run for full-time employment,” added Jon Loew, CEO and founder of KeepTree, a service that captures messages and send them on a designated date. “Most applicants are aware of this, so you have to compete with a lot of other qualified candidates looking to get a leg up.”

Apply the right way

Despite the competitiveness, you shouldn’t apply to internships for the sake of having them on your resume.

“First and foremost, make sure you apply for internships that truly interest you,” Rothman said. “Internships can be very demanding on a student’s time and effort. The more passionate a student is about [their internship], the more they will gain from it.”

Rothman noted that it is vital that students understand what they are getting into before becoming fully invested in the career path. Even if the student won’t be offered a job at the end of it, it’s important to have a direction.

Even if there is no potential for interns to be hired at the end of the internship, they shouldn’t rule out that particular opportunity, Loew said. “The networking opportunity alone can be invaluable,” he noted. “The best way to know is to evaluate what you really want to do with your life and focus on working and learning about that particular job.”

Time spent at these internships is valuable and should be treated as such, Rothman noted. However, it’s important to be wary of companies that try to take advantage of young professionals, said Natalya Khaykis, analyst at ZipJob.

“Research the company for reviews, and stick to reputable companies where you can learn and have a shot at employment after the internship,” Khaykis said.

Getting the internship

Once you’ve figured out what you want to do, it’s important to remember to treat the process — from submitting your resume, to interviewing, to accepting the internship — as you would a real job search.

Applicants can set themselves apart in the interview process. One way to do this is to ask questions that show a deeper interest in the company and the industry. For example, instead of asking, “What will I be doing?” and “Can I get a job out of this?” ask, “What is the company culture like?” or “What opportunities will I have to learn?” Loew suggested.

Rothman noted that before students accept an internship, they should understand the time commitment and the internship objectives.

“You want to be sure that you have the time and ability to fulfill your obligations,” Rothman said. “An internship provides an inside look at what [that job] will require before you get accepted. In some sense, it is like having a crystal ball and being able to see what your future career will look like.”

“Treat your internship like a real job, and show you’re committed and got what it takes to handle any tasks,” Khaykis added. “A good intern also puts a lot of emphasis on learning. Find a mentor, ask questions and show you’re eager to learn more and get the job done.”

System for Restaurants Tips

TouchBistro is one of the most cost effective POS systems for restaurants, especially for small businesses. It is our pick for the best POS system for restaurants because it has everything a small business needs to run all types of food establishments, without all the fuss. Whether you run a fine-dining restaurant, casual eatery, café, food truck, pub or any other type of restaurant, TouchBistro is an affordable and easy-to-use POS system that focuses solely on your unique needs.

With TouchBistro, you don’t need to invest in a lot of hardware, as you do with traditional restaurant POS systems. At the minimum, all you need is an iPad or iPad mini and a cash register to get started. This will cost you less than $1,000, whereas other POS systems complete with a touch-screen monitor, computer, credit card reader, receipt printer and other peripherals — will easily set you back $2,000 or more just for a single terminal.

In addition to the hardware, you’ll need to pay for a monthly fee to use the service. TouchBistro offers low-cost monthly plans that are well within most small businesses’ budgets. Even better, plans are based not on features, but the number of licenses you need (one license per iPad). This means that even the cheapest plan comes with all the features, 24/7 customer support and an unlimited number of users. This is a great deal compared to many POS systems that limit your capabilities if you can’t afford more expensive plans and tack on additional fees for priority support and extra users.

TouchBistro plans start at $69 per month for a single license. If you need more than one terminal, TouchBistro also offers discounted multilicense plans: $129 per month for two licenses, $249 per month for up to five licenses and $399 per month for unlimited licenses. Custom quotes are also available based on your business’s needs. If you’d like to test-drive TouchBistro, a free trial is also available.

Equipment Loans Tips For Business

We recommend Crest Capital as the best alternative lender for equipment loans. We chose Crest Capital from among dozens of alternative lenders. To understand how we selected our best picks, see our methodology and a comprehensive list of alternative lenders on our best picks page.

Why Crest Capital

Crest Capital has a simple application process, fast approvals, a variety of financing terms and excellent customer service. Here is a breakdown of why it’s our best pick.

Application and Approval Process

Crest Capital requires you to submit only a simple application when financing less than $250,000. No other financial documentation is needed.

You have the option of filling out an application online, or completing a paper version and faxing or emailing it in. Not all of the lenders we considered offered an online application.

We recommend Crest Capital as the best alternative lender for equipment loans. We chose Crest Capital from among dozens of alternative lenders. To understand how we selected our best picks, see our methodology and a comprehensive list of alternative lenders on our best picks page.

Why Crest Capital

Crest Capital has a simple application process, fast approvals, a variety of financing terms and excellent customer service. Here is a breakdown of why it’s our best pick.

Application and Approval Process

Crest Capital requires you to submit only a simple application when financing less than $250,000. No other financial documentation is needed.

You have the option of filling out an application online, or completing a paper version and faxing or emailing it in. Not all of the lenders we considered offered an online application.

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The application includes basic questions about you, your business and the equipment you want to finance. Some of the specific questions are:

  • Company name, website and address
  • Each company owner’s name and Social Security number
  • The percent of the company that belongs to each owner
  • The company’s bank name and account number
  • The estimated cost of the equipment
  • The length of the loan or lease you want
  • The condition of the equipment
  • Name and address of the equipment vendor

Crest Capital also reviews your credit history. In order to be approved, you must have a minimum credit score of 650. The lender also checks public records, like Dun & Bradstreet and PayNet, to ensure you don’t have any current delinquent payments or a history of nonpayment to creditors.

How long you have been in business is also a key factor in whether you’re approved for financing. Typically, you must have been in business at least two years for Crest Capital to consider you.

The lender reviews all of this information and usually has a final determination on approval within 4 hours. This is significantly faster than many of the other equipment financing lenders we examined.

Financing of more than $250,000 requires a more extensive application process. Besides checking your credit score and payment history, Crest Capital also requires:

  • A written overview of your organization (two pages max, plus brochures and/or resumes)
  • A written description of the purpose of the equipment and financial justification of acquiring the equipment
  • Last two year-end financial statements and current interim financial statement
  • Tax returns for the two most recent years (unless financial statements are audited or reviewed)
  • Last two years of tax returns on all entities and principals owning at least 20 percent of the company
  • Current financial statement on all entities or principals owning at least 20 percent of the business.
  • List of current loans and leases (include lender name, account number and phone number)

Once all of this information is submitted, an approval decision is usually made within one business day. This is still considerably faster than many of the other lenders we looked into, which took up to two weeks to approve borrowers.

Loan Terms

Part of what attracted us to Crest Capital was its wide array of financing terms. The company offers financing of up to $1,000,000, with term lengths of between 24 and 84 months. The wide range of options gives you the ability to choose a financing structure that best fits your needs.

We like that Crest Capital lets you choose your own term length. Shorter term-lengths generally require larger monthly payments, while longer term-lengths have smaller payments. The lender’s flexibility means you can pick a repayment period that best fits into your budget.

Crest Capital also lets you choose between an equipment loan or lease. The biggest difference between the two is the structure of the financing and what happens at the end of the term. Among the options offered are:

  • Equipment finance agreement: A fixed-rate loan offering a monthly payment that does not fluctuate with treasury rates. At the end of the term, you own the equipment.
  • $1 purchase agreement: With this lease, you have a fixed monthly payment, and own the equipment at the end of the lease for a nominal amount, such as $1.
  • 10 percent purchase option: This is a lease with a fixed monthly payment, as well as a fixed purchase option. At the end of the lease, you can purchase the equipment at 10 percent of its original cost, renew the lease or return the equipment to Crest Capital.
  • Fair market value: This offers the lowest fixed monthly payments. In addition, the payments are usually 100 percent tax deductible. At the end of the lease, you can purchase the equipment at fair market value, renew the lease or return the equipment to Crest Capital.
  • Guaranteed purchase agreement: Provides a guaranteed purchase price for the equipment at the end of the term. You can choose a purchase price that is fixed at a certain dollar amount, or pick from a range between a fixed minimum and maximum amount.
  • First-amendment lease: Gives you a purchase option at one or more defined points during the lease, with the requirement that you renew or continue the lease if the purchase option is not exercised.
  • Operating lease: Meets the criteria established by the Financial Accounting Standard Board and is available for equipment with a strong after-market value.

How to Choose a Service

Choosing a factoring service doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are three things to consider when selecting one for your business:

  1. What type of factoring does your business need?
  2. How much of your outstanding invoices do you need funded and when do you need it?
  3. How much are you willing to pay?

We will help you answer these questions below, but if you already know what you need and just want to see our recommendations for the best factoring service, visit our best picks page.

The first step to choosing the right factoring service for your business is figuring out which type of factoring you actually need. For instance, do you need a factoring service that covers all of your outstanding invoices upfront, or will a partial payment suffice? Do you prefer to keep receiving payments from customers, or will you hand collections over to the factoring company? And do you want to be held responsible to the factoring company if customers don’t pay? These are just some of the considerations we’ll cover below.

First, to help you better understand the many different types of factoring, here is an explanation of how factoring works, followed by a breakdown of the most common factoring services.

How factoring works

Factoring is an alternative method of financing that allows business owners to sell their invoices, or accounts receivable, to a third party, the “factor.” Factoring helps to fuel growth by providing the funds necessary to keep businesses going while waiting for customers to pay for outstanding invoices.

Here’s how factoring works in real life:

EcoNuts, an organic soap nut retailer that appeared on Season 4 of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” was unable to secure an investment deal, but still had a large purchase order from a major retailer on the line. The company opted to work with factoring company BlueVine to successfully fill the order. [See Related Story: BlueVine Review: Best Bad Credit Factoring Service]

“When [EcoNuts] came to us, they were limited by their working capital they had on hand to meet that demand,” said Edward Castaño, vice president of marketing at BlueVine. “They had so many outstanding invoices from TJX [parent company of TJMaxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and the Sierra Trading Post], that it made it hard for them to fulfill orders.”

According to Castaño, EcoNuts didn’t have the cash to purchase the supplies and cover the salaries to fill the new orders, which put their growth trajectory at risk.

“[EcoNuts] used our invoice financing solution to unlock the cash trapped in their invoices to fulfill new orders and maintain their growth trajectory,” he said.