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How to prepare for a bilingual job interview

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Have you applied for a position that requires some degree of proficiency in a second language? Here’s how to ensure you can successfully demonstrate your fluency in a job interview.

Prepare two sets of answers
A common way to test a candidate’s language skills is to conduct part of the interview in the second language. Therefore, it’s a good idea to prepare answers in both languages to typical interview questions such as:

• Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
• Where do you see yourself in five years?
• How would you describe your ideal boss?
• What makes you the right person for this position?

Ideally, you should prepare enough to feel comfortable going through the entire interview in either language.


Rehearse with someone bilingual
A mock interview is an effective way to practice how you’ll answer various questions and demonstrate your qualifications. If you’re interviewing for a bilingual position, it’s best to do this exercise with someone who’s fluent in both languages. This way, they can correct your grammar and offer feedback as needed.

Emphasize your experience
Rather than simply show that you can speak the language, you should also demonstrate how you’ve used this skill in previous roles. If the recruiter asks where you learned the language, be prepared to provide a few examples of work, volunteer, or travel experiences that allowed you to develop a strong grasp of the language.

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Credit card processing costs set to rise

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Do you handle a lot of credit card transactions at your business? If so, you may pay more in processing fees in the not-so-distant future.

Visa and Mastercard planned to raise processing fees last April, but the hikes were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For now, fee hikes are back on schedule, set to rise in April 2022.

Visa and Mastercard merchant fees totaled $67.6 billion in 2019. With new increases, Visa and Mastercard are expected to take in an additional $1.2 billion.

Businesses will pass on these increased costs by raising prices in products and services. Some may raise prices across the board. Some may pass on credit cards and only accept debit cards. Others may add surcharges for credit cards.


The Strawhecker Group estimates that less than 5 percent of eight million card-accepting small businesses levy credit-card surcharges. While this may not seem like much, it’s up from less than 2 percent five years ago.

Declining card payments altogether is a risky decision. More than 40 percent of people prefer paying with debit cards and 33 percent favor credit cards. Just 18 percent prefer cash.

It should come as no surprise that cash accounted for only 19 percent of transactions in 2020. Meanwhile, debit cards accounted for 28 percent of transactions, while credit cards were used in 27 percent.

Those companies that don’t accept cards may do so to their detriment. Finder.com, a website that helps people find credit cards, estimates that businesses (in total) could be missing out on 11.8 million customers by not setting up a card transaction facility.

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Book review: Create new markets in a blue ocean

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Blue Ocean Strategy has emerged as one of the more popular business strategies in recent memory. Why? The strategy aims to not just improve your competitiveness but to instead make your competition irrelevant.

Rather than beating competitors in markets already gripped in a death struggle, Blue Ocean Strategy suggests that companies create uncontested market space and new industries, or blue oceans.
Those who uncover blue oceans first may enjoy strong growth and minimal competition. They might also define the rules for the new industry.

Sound like pie in the sky? Throughout the essays found in the book “Blue Ocean Strategy Reader,” authors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne recount past examples of blue ocean success while also offering insights for those looking to uncover the next uncontested markets.

One frequently cited example is the entertainment company Cirque du Soleil, which created a blue ocean in what seemed like a declining red market. Traditional circuses were already going out of style in 1984 when Cirque du Soleil launched a new circus experience that appealed to upmarket patrons who traditionally enjoyed orchestras, ballet, and opera. Kim and Mauborgne argue that by doing so, Cirque du Soleil created a blue ocean.


Facing minimal competition in their blue ocean, Cirque du Soleil has grown from one show in one city to 19 shows spread over 300 cities and is closing in on $1 billion in annual revenues. Meanwhile, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey both shut down in 2017 after offering traditional circus experiences for nearly 150 years.

The essays in “Blue Ocean Strategy Reader” cover a range of topics and offer actionable insights.

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Goblins and candy bars: Retailers could be in for a treat in 2021

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‘Tis the season for candy, costumes, and scary movies. As Halloween approaches, expect retailers and analysts to closely monitor consumer spending and other trends.

Halloween is the second biggest spending holiday in the United States, trumping Thanksgiving, Easter, the Fourth of July, and all the rest.

And Halloween spending has grown considerably over the years. Back in 2006, Americans spent “just” $4.96 billion. In 2017, spending peaked at $9.1 billion before cooling to $8.8 billion in 2019.

The COVID-19 pandemic put a bit of a damper on the 2020 Halloween season, with some families skipping or cutting back on trick-or-treating, parties, and other celebrations. The National Retail Federation estimates that spending dropped to $8.05 billion.


What about the 2021 Halloween season? Candy giant Hershey conducted a survey and found that 54 percent of consumers were likely to buy more candy this year, and trick-or-treating could be up by as much as 45 percent.

If so, that could bode well for retailers and trick-or-treaters alike.

The COVID-19 pandemic, among other factors, impacted consumer expenditures across the board in 2020 with annual Real Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) falling by 3.9 percent. Now, accounting giant Deloitte projects PCE to rise by roughly 7.6 percent in 2021 compared to a year prior.

Meanwhile, the National Retail Federation regularly conducts spending surveys and so far has found that back-to-college/school and Mother’s/Father’s Day spending has likely increased in 2021.

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Companies bet on green packaging

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Amid increasing environmental concerns, some companies are rethinking how they approach packaging, aiming to minimize their environmental footprint while reducing waste and potentially cutting costs.

Packaging company DS Smith argues that better packaging could save companies $46 billion per year by reducing global logistics costs.

Wasted space is a key concern, with many goods shipped in oversized boxes and the like. With better-designed packaging, companies can reduce wasted space, allowing them to move more packages per shipment and reduce the amount of materials used.

Sustainable packaging may also attract customers. McKinsey has found that up to 70 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging. More than 60 percent claim to have already gone out of their way to buy sustainable packaging, while 57 percent have made significant lifestyle changes to reduce their environmental impact.



Nestle has pledged to make all of its packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025 and has allocated $2 billion in pursuit of that goal. Unilever aims to recover half of its plastic packaging and this past March, allocated $15 million to the Closed Loop Partners Leadership Fund.

Market analysis firm Market Research Future estimates that the sustainable packaging market was worth $305.31 billion in 2020 and will reach $470.3 billion by 2027.

Governments are also working to reduce waste. Canada aims to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030 and India has announced plans to phase out single-use plastics, such as plastic bottles. In the U.S., Connecticut is moving to implement minimum recycled content requirements and Maine implemented the first Extended Producer Responsibility law, requiring producers to contribute to environmental stewardship.

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How to become a successful entrepreneur

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If you want to run your own company and become a successful businesswoman, here are some tips to help you achieve your goals.

• Believe in yourself. Confidence in your abilities is crucial if you want to attract employees and investors who see the potential of your product or service. This will ensure you build a solid team around you.

• Decide on a mission. If there’s a goal that’s important to you, make it the mission for your business. This will help keep you on the right track. You should also determine what sets you apart from your competitors and, above all else, be passionate about your pursuit.

• Prepare yourself mentally. A good state of mind will make it easier for you to face challenges head-on when they arise. In addition, being ready to overcome failures and keep moving forward is a key part of the process.


• Don’t be afraid to go for it. Stop doubting yourself and overthinking your plans, and just launch your business. Whatever skills you’re lacking, you can pick up along the way. Remember that books and training programs can be great resources.

• Manage your time wisely. Since it can be challenging to juggle various professional and personal responsibilities, don’t be afraid to delegate tasks. In order to succeed, you must be organized and know how to make the most of your time.

Now, it’s up to you to show the world what you can do.

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How to buy a small business

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Business ownership is a dream for many people, and an alternative to starting from scratch is to buy an existing business. But where to begin?

First, with loads of due diligence. The more preparation, the better.

Your prep work starts with an honest look at your own experience, lifestyle, and desires to figure out what type of business you want to buy. It’s helpful to search for a business that aligns with your interests and skills.

Next, make sure you assemble a good team. An accountant will help you decipher financial information, and an attorney will help with negotiations and advice for structuring transactions.


You can search for available businesses in a number of places, from Craigslist to networking events and conferences. The website BizBuySell has thousands of listings.

When you do find one you’re interested in, the seller will likely ask you to sign a nondisclosure form or confidentiality agreement. The reason is that you’ll be privy to a lot of proprietary information that the seller wants to make sure remains private, should you decide not to buy.

You and your team will review financial and business documents to analyze the profitability of the business, as well as whether they’ve remained up-to-date on necessary licensing and forms.

Among others, these may include:

* Business licenses and permits

* Organizational paperwork

* Contracts and leases

* Financials, including tax returns, profit and loss statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, accounts payable and accounts receivable, debts, etc.

* Organizational chart

* Inventory and equipment status

* Insurance documents

* Client or customer lists

* Intellectual property

Finally, if you decide to buy, you’ll have a stack of paper to review before purchase. These include things like a bill of sale, transferring ownership of vehicles and equipment, the lease and more. You might also ask the seller to sign a non-compete agreement, so they don’t start a new business that competes with yours.

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King Cartoons

Front Royal
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Feels like: 55°F
Wind: 7mph W
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UV index: 0
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Upcoming Events

Oct
28
Thu
10:00 am Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 28 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie at Strokes of Creativity. Tickets: CLICK HERE Cost: $80 for 6 weeks Dates: Thursdays – Oct 21, Oct 28, Nov 4, Nov 11, Nov 18, Dec 4 Time: 10 am[...]
1:00 pm Art Class for 4th & 5th @ Strokes of Creativity
Art Class for 4th & 5th @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 28 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Art Class for 4th & 5th @ Strokes of Creativity
This class is for Grades 4th and 5th. Perfect for home schoolers. Recommended ages: 9 and 10 years old Tickets: CLICK HERE Tickets are available through Square Up, or can be paid in person at[...]
7:00 pm Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Oct 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
White Horse Auto Wash is excited for the first Haunted Tunnel at their new Front Royal location this year! Located next to Lowe’s at 214 Country Club Road, Front Royal, VA. The event will be[...]
Oct
29
Fri
9:00 am Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 29 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Edmonds Lane Field: Join The Piedmont Environmental Council, Friends of the Rappahannock, Goose Creek Association, John Marshall Soil & Water Conservation District and We Plant Trees, for volunteer tree planting at Sky Meadows State Park![...]
6:00 pm Trunk or Treat @ Family Dollar Parking Lot
Trunk or Treat @ Family Dollar Parking Lot
Oct 29 @ 6:00 pm – Oct 30 @ 9:00 pm
Trunk or Treat @ Family Dollar Parking Lot
Non-profit organization Crown Vic Kiings & Queens, of Winchester, Virginia, is hosting our annual car club TRUNK OR TREAT, in Front Royal, on October 29th. The event is free but donations are greatly appreciated, as[...]
7:00 pm Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Oct 29 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
White Horse Auto Wash is excited for the first Haunted Tunnel at their new Front Royal location this year! Located next to Lowe’s at 214 Country Club Road, Front Royal, VA. The event will be[...]
Oct
30
Sat
9:00 am Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 30 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Edmonds Lane Field: Join The Piedmont Environmental Council, Friends of the Rappahannock, Goose Creek Association, John Marshall Soil & Water Conservation District and We Plant Trees, for volunteer tree planting at Sky Meadows State Park![...]
1:00 pm Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Oct 30 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Fort Valley Museum Fall Craft Festival – Annual Fundraiser October 30 & 31, 2021 | Saturday 1-4pm, Sunday 2-5pm Come by and support the Fort Valley Museum at our annual Fall Craft Festival (formerly “Christmas[...]
1:00 pm Feed the Homeless Trunk or Treat @ T-Bone's Bar & Grill
Feed the Homeless Trunk or Treat @ T-Bone's Bar & Grill
Oct 30 @ 1:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Feed the Homeless Trunk or Treat @ T-Bone's Bar & Grill
Non-profit organization Crown Vic Kiings & Queens, of Winchester, Virginia, is hosting our annual car club FEED THE HOMELESS/TRUNK OR TREAT on October 30th. The event is free but donations are greatly appreciated, as Crown[...]
7:00 pm Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Oct 30 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
White Horse Auto Wash is excited for the first Haunted Tunnel at their new Front Royal location this year! Located next to Lowe’s at 214 Country Club Road, Front Royal, VA. The event will be[...]