Good Topics to Address During a Job Interview

The job interview traditionally provides potential employers their only opportunity to get a glimpse of what a job candidate has to offer. To reduce the likelihood of making a hiring misstep, interviewers should exercise care and ensure that they cover the topics of major importance about which they must gather information before making a hiring decision. If you are hosting a job interview, make sure that your question list is varied and that you plan to query each candidate about an assortment of important issues.

In fields where set educational requirements exist, it is important that you ask about education early in the interview. If you discover that a candidate lacks the education necessary for the position, you can immediately eliminate the candidate. Instead of simply relying on the resume to give you information as to the candidate's educational experience, ask the candidate about the listings, inquiring as to how the education prepared him for the position.

Even if the candidate you are considering has never worked in the specific field for which you are hiring, she will likely have some sort of experience to recommend her. By asking about her work experience, you can get a better idea of her track record and develop a deeper understanding of how she has performed in the past, as this can be an indicator of how she may perform in the future.

Hiring a candidate who is eager to advance in the world of work can prove advantageous, as this person will likely be more self-motivated for success than a candidate who lacks these goals may be. Ask your candidate about his overall career goals as well as how this position will help him achieve these goals.

Job Responsibilities
Though you will fill the bulk of the interview with asking questions, you should provide the candidate with some information as well. Explain to the candidate what responsibilities she can expect to encounter if she gets the job. By giving her this information and asking her if she feels capable of tackling these responsibilities, you can get a better picture of her preparedness for the job in question.

When you fill your position, you will certainly have a list of expectations for the new hire. To ensure that your candidate can live up to these expectations, give him a preview of what these expectations are. Tell him, for example, if travel will be part of the position as well as what hours you would expect him to work. By giving him this information, you give him the chance to tell you if he can't meet these expectations, allowing you to remove him from consideration.
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Salaries for Dental Assistants and Office Managers

Dental offices employ more than just dentists; dental assistants help with sterilizing equipment, preparing patients for procedures and performing laboratory duties, while dental office managers oversee the administrative side of the office, such as the organization of records and billing. The salaries for both dental assistants and office managers depend on the worker's level of experience.

Dental Office Managers
On average, medical and health services managers earned an annual salary of $90,970 as of May 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those working in the offices of dentists earned less with an average of $78,620.

Dental Assistants
Dental assistants earned an average salary of $34,000 as of 2009, according to the bureau. The median salary was $33,230; assistants in the 10th percentile earned less than $22,710, those in the 25th percentile earned less than $27,520, those in the 75th percentile earned over $39,780 and those in the 90th percentile earned over $47,070. The average salary of a dental assistant in a dental office was $34,010, while those working in the offices of physicians earned an average of $30,930.

According to the bureau, the District of Columbia was the highest paying state for dental assistants as of 2009 with a salary average of $45,630, followed by Alaska at $43,670 and Minnesota at $41,510. For dental office managers, Washington was the state with the highest salary average for medical and health services managers at $109,460 a year. Massachusetts and Rhode Island ranked second and third with averages of $107,020 and $106,120.

Dental assistants may receive on-the-job training, although they can pursue certification from one-year training programs in community colleges, trade schools and technical institutes. Those wishing to advance and earn higher wages may pursue the Certified Dental Assistant credential administered by the Dental Assisting National Board, which requires passing an examination and having either two years of full-time or four years of part-time experience.

Dental office managers may find work with a bachelor's degree but in many cases a master's degree in health administration is preferred. They can pursue certification as a Registered Health Information Administrator from the American Health Information Management Association.
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Practice Administrator Salary

Practice administrators are health services managers who direct and coordinate business operations in a medical practice. Although small practices may have an office manager handle routine business aspects while the doctors formulate business strategy, practices of 10 or more doctors may prefer to hire a practice administrator, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most practice administrators earned at least $65,000 as of 2010.

Salary Range
The average salary for a practice administrator as of May 2010 was $45.03 per hour, or $93,670 per year, as determined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The middle 50 percent of practice administrators had salaries of $65,650 to $109,490 per year. The bottom 10 percent of the pay scale was at $51,280 and less and the top 10 percent at $144,880 and more.

Highest-Paying States
The top-paying state for practice administrators in 2010 was Massachusetts, where the average annual pay rate was $112,670. Rounding out the top five were Washington at an average annual salary for practice administrators of $109,670, Rhode Island at $109,580, New York at $108,090 and

Connecticut $107,380.

Highest-Paying Metro Areas
Practice administrators in three U.S. metropolitan areas had average annual salaries over $120,000 in 2010. These areas were the greater San Jose, California, region at $123,930 per year on average; Madera, California, at $123,050; and the greater Boston, Massachusetts, area at $120,670.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts good job prospects for health services managers in the offices of health practitioners. Many services traditionally provided in hospitals increasingly are available in medical group practices, leading to employment growth in this setting. Because of a trend for medical group practices to become larger and more complex, the demand for practice management increases. Candidates with experience in health care and strong business management skills will have the best prospects.
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Job Description for a Practice Administrator

When businesses become more complicated, minds with organizational and problem-solving skills such as practice administrators are needed to manage this complexity. The practice administrator is in a leadership role within a variety of institutions such as hospitals and accounting services. These individuals set up and maintain offices so that other professionals can focus on their practices.

Practice administrators fulfill a variety of roles, many of which depend on the organization they work for. For instance, Saint Thomas More Hospital practice administrators spend most of their time working with physicians to address a variety of issues such as practice management, the billing of patients, issues regarding the medical facility, issues regarding medical information systems, program expansion and the quality of patient care. The practice administrator is also responsible for many of the financial issues within the hospital. In the accounting service KPMG, the practice administrator engages in marketing of a variety of events such as national practice meetings. The practice administrator also fulfills any administrative roles needed to relieve some of the burden placed on the other administrators, according to KPMG. After completing necessary financial work, it is necessary for the practice administrator to report all financial information to upper administration.

Practice administrators spend some time in an office setting, but much of their time is spent traveling. Fortunately, much of the travel can be reduced by having practice administrators use technology to engage in teleconferencing. Practice administrators usually work at least 40 hours a week, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to Saint Thomas More Hospital, clinics often expect practice administrators to have a master's degree, though sometimes a bachelor's degree in business administration or health care administration is acceptable. Other organizations only expect their practice administrators to hold a high school diploma. These administrators usually need a good sense of both financial and computer systems. They often have to make decisions that will affect the policy of the clinic, so they need good planning and problem-solving skills. Their position involves communicating with a variety of individuals ranging from physicians to patients, so they need good interpersonal and communication skills.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the need for administrative services managers is expected to grow 12 percent between 2008 and 2018. This growth will be driven by organizations attempting to become increasingly more efficient, with the goal of reducing unnecessary costs. Also, as businesses grow and become more complex, administrators will be hired to handle this complexity.

Administrative services managers within the health care industry earned a median of $77,870 in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those involved in the management of enterprises such as accounting services earned a median of $85,980 in 2008.
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Medical Office Administrator Description

A medical office administrator is responsible for the daily operation of a medical practice. Whether the practice runs smoothly without problems depends on the skills and knowledge of the administrator. Administrators carry on the many functions needed within a medical practice.

Accounting Duties
The administrator is responsible for the daily and monthly accounting for the practice. She is responsible for making sure all financial data balances for the bank deposits, petty cash and yearly budgets.

Computer Duties
The administrator is usually the liaison for the computer software that the medical group uses. Anytime there is a major problem with the software, the administrator calls the software company or assigns an employee to work with the software company to fix the problem.

Human Resources
Depending on the size of the medical practice, the administrator may also have to perform the duties of a human resources manager. This includes hiring, promoting, performance reviews and firing employees.

The administrator is responsible for overseeing, if not ordering, all purchases. Purchases can be small, like office supplies, to major purchases, like X-ray equipment. The administrator may place another employee over the ordering of small items with her pre-approval.

Flow of the Office
Where the employees sit, the physician's office locations and how the patients flow will be determined by the administrator. If an office is well planned out, all of the duties in the office will operate smoothly, and the patients coming and leaving should not interfere with the duties necessary to run the office.
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How to Write a Job Description for a Dental Office

When you are planning to hire a new employee, it's important to provide a clear description of the available job. Many dental office positions require specialized training, and it is critical to inform candidates exactly what skills and certifications may be required. If the position requires dental training, such as assisting with dental cleanings or hands-on patient care, candidates will need to provide credentials during their interviews, and this should be clearly outlined in the job description.

1. Offer a concise summary of the position, including key duties and required skills. A candidate reading the job description should be clear of the exact nature of the work required. It is also important to describe the employee's level in the office by identifying who will supervise the employee and how the position relates to other staff members. For example, if the position is for a head receptionist, the candidate may report to an office manager, but she may also supervise office assistants.

2. Outline educational and work experience requirements for the position. A job description should clearly state the required level of education and any special certifications or work experiences that may be required. Upon reading the job description, a candidate should be able to clearly identify whether she has completed the required studies. For example, dental assistants are required to complete trainings and certifications in order to have direct patient contact, and these requirements should be clearly outlined in the job description.

3. Provide information regarding salary and benefits. Offer a general salary range for the available position, noting that compensation may vary with training and work experience. The salary information should give a candidate a clear sense of how much they stand to earn based on their individual background. Candidates should also be given a general outline of the benefits package, including health insurance and paid vacation and sick leave.

4. Provide a timeline for application submission and candidate selection. The job description should include a deadline for applications and complete contact information for the individual in charge of hiring. Candidates should be provided with information regarding interview schedules and a prospective hiring and start date. It's also important to request any official paperwork such as candidate references, educational records, and credentials.
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How to Get Work via LinkedIn

Job seekers today have many social media platforms available where they can network with others. However, those who are trying to get a job should not overlook the power of LinkedIn. The site is geared toward professionals and allows them to build a profile that will highlight their skills for potential employers. Users can build a network of professional contacts and tap into that network for assistance to find a job and acquire recommendations.

Simple tips:

1. Create a professional profile that includes detailed information about your employment, skills and education. Set up keywords so that employers looking for what you have to offer can find you. Provide links to any relevant websites you run. Fill out your public profile in addition to the regular profile because the public profile will show up in Google searches.

2. Search LinkedIn for previous coworkers, schoolmates and other contacts. Many times acquiring a job depends on who you know. LinkedIn also allows you to request introductions to people who would be useful to you.

3. Ask your LinkedIn connections for job leads, references and recommendations. They may know of jobs that you haven’t heard of and have the connections to help you get an interview. People you’ve previously worked with are good candidates to use as a reference. If someone recommends you as a service provider, LinkedIn will include you in its Service Directory where you will be visible to people searching for the particular service you offer.

4. Be active on the site. Many people fill out their profile but do nothing else. Answer questions on the job boards or join and participate in relevant groups. Create your own group if none exist that focuses on your interests.

5. Link to your profile in your email signature and on your website to make yourself visible to more people. LinkedIn will help you create an email signature that includes your logo, website link and other details. The site also provides buttons you can use on your website to direct people to your profile.

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How to Improve Rank on LinkedIn

Since its launch in 2003, LinkedIn has become the social networking site for professionals seeking employment, looking for new hires and wanting to network with other professionals. In June 2011, LinkedIn actually surpassed MySpace on how many unique visitors went to the site that month. With the explosion of this new professional tool, it is important to know how to use it correctly to get the most out of the site. Luckily for those new to LinkedIn, there are proven ways to get your profile ranked higher on search results, which will increase the likelihood of getting the job you want.

Simple tips:

1. Understand how important keywords are. Keywords are what make your profile stand out. You do not want to overuse them, just use them enough so that your profile will be noticed in a search. Figure out what keywords are related to your profession. Do an online search of your profession and see what other words come up. Think of words that you would type into a search engine if you were looking for someone to hire in your profession. Keep a list of all words you generate.

2. Plant your keywords strategically throughout your profile. Slip the most important keywords into your headline. Your headline is the first thing people will see when doing a search, so have eye-catching keywords in it. Leave keywords in your "Current" and "Past Work Experiences" sections. Place keywords strategically in your "Summary" section. Your "Specialties" section will allow you to sprinkle several keywords without looking tacky. Except in your "Specialties" section, do not just throw random keywords around. Make your sections look professional, not just littered with words search engines prefer.

3. Complete all areas within your profile. Do not skip any. All areas are potential spots to leave keywords, and future employers will want to know as much about you as possible. Keep all areas up to date. You never know when a better employer may come around.

4. Build the largest possible network. It is not really necessary that you have done business with everyone in your network. When searching, employers may sift through the results by the size of someone's network. Reach out to people. This will also show future employers that you know how to network and interact, which is always a plus.

5. Write and request recommendations, and do it often. Stick with people you know when writing recommendations. When you write a recommendation, ask for one in return. Have a good relationship with the person you ask. Recommendations will resonate on your profile, and the more legitimate ones you have, the better.

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10 Examples of Franchises

Franchising helps would-be entrepreneurs to get a jump start on launching a business. Franchises offer proven business models and marketing support for franchisees and represent a wide range of options to meet virtually any business interests. There are a wide range of franchise examples from restaurants to business services and almost everything in between.

1. Food
Of the top 10 franchises in 2010, according to Entrepreneur's Franchise 500, five are food-related--Subway, McDonald's, 7-Eleven, Dunkin' Donuts and ampn Mini Market.

2. Cleaning Services
Cleaning services also represent a high percentage of the top franchises in the country, with such franchises as Jani-King, Servpro, Jan-Pro Franchising Int'l. Inc. and Stratus Building Solutions appearing in the top 15 of Entrepreneur's list.

3. Financial Services
H&R Block is number six on Entrepreneur's Franchise 500, offering tax preparation and electronic filing services. Financial services franchises provide services to both consumers and businesses and represent an opportunity for those with accounting acumen to capitalize on well-known brand names.

4. Hotels
Hotels offer many opportunities for franchisees interested in becoming involved in the hospitality industry. Such well-known chains as Days Inn and Super 8 are top franchises in the U.S. Sites such as list a broad range of hotels ranging from the top names to more niche-oriented chains.

5. Car and Auto Franchises
Car and auto franchises are meet the needs of consumers who must depend on reliable transportation and include collision repair (Maaco) and auto parts (Napa).

6. Printing and Postal Services
Franchises that serve the needs of consumers and small businesses when it comes to reproducing services (FedEx Kinkos), mail distribution (Pak Mail) and package delivery (the UPS store) continue to be popular despite the growth in email and online marketing.

7. Senior Care
As the baby boomers enter their elder years, senior care franchises are booming. According to the U.S. Census, by 2030, this industry could represent a $490 billion market. Opportunities exist in both medical and non-medical areas such as housekeeping, grocery shopping and meal planning.

8. Pets
Americans love their pets and pet franchises offer opportunities for entrepreneurs to capitalize on this. Franchise opportunities range from cleaning and grooming services, to the sales of pet accessories to animal training. Franchise opportunities include Dogtopia, DoodyCalls and Fetch.

9. Health and Fitness
Health and fitness are growing concerns for Americans and, with rising levels of obesity and impacts on health, wellness and insurance costs, this is likely to be an area of continued growth. Franchise opportunities range from gyms to bodybuilding, to exercise classes and fitness clothing, equipment and accessories.

10. Environment
The green movement and concern about environmentalism has resulted in franchise opportunities ranging from products (stationery and eco-friendly gift items) to cosmetics and building products.
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What Is a Letter of Introduction for a Job?

A letter of introduction introduces two parties in the hopes that a mutually beneficial relationship will bloom. You can write a letter of introduction for yourself or for someone else. It is a useful tool to develop your career network and can be especially helpful for long-distance job searches where face-to-face meetings are more difficult to arrange. The goal is to persuade the reader to reciprocate the introduction and begin a relationship that may open doors to a new job opportunity.

In a job hunt, the purpose of an introduction letter is to initiate a relationship with someone in an organization where you or the person you are introducing would like to work. The letter also establishes rapport by highlighting common ground or other ways the relationship will benefit both parties. For example, if both parties are in the same industry, they may be able to share industry trends with one another or expand each others' networks through further introductions.

Introducing Yourself and Others
Letters introducing yourself should clearly highlight your skills and experience and why you would like to work for that organization. Letters introducing another person should highlight her strengths and demonstrate why you believe she could bring value to the hiring organization.

Email is the most common medium used for introduction letters today. Increasingly, social media platforms, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, are also being used, especially in less formal situations or in high tech industries. Through Facebook and LinkedIn, you can introduce yourself with a private message if the other party has set their profile to receive messages from people with whom they are not yet connected. You can also send a referral to someone you are already connected with via Facebook or LinkedIn. LinkedIn even allows you to share one of your connection's profiles with another connection. Faxes and written letters have become much less common, but may still be used depending on the recipient's technology.

The letter should be brief and to the point. The tone of a letter of introduction should be more formal that day-to-day correspondence. It's also best to use the introduction as a first step towards a phone call or informational interview rather than asking for a job interview right off the bat. Don't forget to include contact information and carefully proofread for spelling and grammatical errors.