‘Game of Thrones’ sneak peek images offer early glimpse into tense next chapter

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Spoiler warning: The following post contains images from the next episode of Game of Thrones (Season 8, episode 2).

Let’s get to theorizing, Thrones fans.

Ahead of Sunday, HBO has released 14 new photos from Game of Thrones Season 8, episode 2. From Jaime facing the music to a mysterious strategy session, this sneak peek doesn’t reveal anything particularly unexpected — but in Westeros, where there’s a detail, there’s a theory. 

Here are all 14 photos, with some light speculation from Mashable’s investigative Thrones squad.

Gilly, Sam, and Little Sam cuddle up

Hannah Murray as Gilly and John Bradley as Samwell Tarly

Image: courtesy of hbo

While this image is undeniably adorable, lingering moments of sentimentality rarely bode well for the Thrones characters in them. Here’s hoping the events of episode 2 don’t threaten this happy family. Read more…

More about Photos, Hbo, Game Of Thrones, Preview, and Episode 2


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‘The Godfather’ Is Still Making Us an Offer We Can’t Refuse

Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast/AP Images

The Mafia is dead. A New York jury said so just this week. A trial in federal court of two men charged with racketeering and conspiracy to commit extortion ended in a verdict of not guilty. Defense attorneys for the two men had argued that the Mafia was destroyed decades ago and that their clients were being unfairly profiled as gangsters because of their Italian ethnicity. The defendants walked.

Long live the Mafia: the day after that jury verdict, a Gambino family mob boss was gunned down in his own driveway on Staten Island, in what history will record as the first gangland slaying ever recorded on video. So maybe the death of organized crime is slightly exaggerated.

In a strange coincidence, amid all this fresh news about the Mafia splattered across the tabloids, Mario Puzo’s novel The Godfather turns 50 this month. And here’s a certainty: while we can debate the actual Mafia’s state of health all day long, it is still very much alive and well in the pages of Puzo’s novel—maybe because no one ever accused him of writing realism.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Our Top 9 Savings Accounts Offer Convenience and Security

Storing your cash in a duffel bag under the bed has its perks — immediate access when you need it and the feeling of completely controlling your own finances.

But hoarding your hard-earned money in your own home puts it at risk of theft or loss to natural disasters, and it’s doing you no favors in terms of interest.

Savings accounts at an FDIC-insured bank, on the other hand, keep your money secure and can earn you more money in the process.

Nowadays, the best savings accounts are typically with online banks due to higher interest rates, but brick-and-mortar banks still have some (though not many) benefits.

So which savings account should you choose? We’ve ranked the very best online savings accounts available today to get you started.

What Is a Savings Account?

A savings account is a bank account where you store your money until you need it.

The best savings accounts are secured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $ 250,000. That means that if you store your money with a bank and it goes under, you won’t lose your money.

Savings accounts are perfect for achieving your savings goals — for a car, a house, a wedding, vacations, you name it. More importantly, they are the best tool to build your emergency fund.

Most experts agree your emergency savings should total six months’ worth of necessary expenses in the case of job loss or another unpredictable emergency. Necessary expenses might include rent/mortgage, car payments, insurance, medical bills, utilities and groceries.

But don’t sweat it if you don’t have six months’ worth saved up. It takes time to build up your savings. Even if you can deposit $ 50 a month, you will eventually reach your goal.

One thing a savings account is not is an investment account. Savings accounts have historically low interest rates (or APY — annual percentage yield), but they are inherently low risk.

After you have padded your savings account with enough cash to cover emergency expenses and your other savings goals, your money is better spent on investments like IRAs, 401(k)s and stocks.

Common alternatives to savings accounts include certificates of deposit (CDs), where you store your money for a fixed term for a slightly higher interest rate, and money market accounts, which typically offer a higher APY but have significantly higher minimum balance requirements.

So just how much interest will you earn in a savings account? That depends on the amount you’ve saved and your APY. You can use this online calculator to test out different numbers.

Online Banks vs. Brick-and-Mortar Banks

Federal Credit Union

Before the advent of the internet, brick-and-mortar banks (and credit unions) were the only place to store your money, if not in your duffel bag.

But over the last couple decades, online banks have transformed the way we think of safely storing our money, and because of their low overhead (fewer staff and few or no physical locations), they can offer much better interest rates on savings accounts.

Pros of Online Savings Accounts

When online savings accounts first surfaced, bank customers were hesitant to store their money with companies they had never heard of and were fearful of internet security issues.

Today, many of these same customers now see far more pros to online savings accounts than their traditional physical banks.

Higher Interest Rates

This is easily the most important distinction between brick-and-mortar banks and online banks. The national average APY for a savings account is 0.70%, but many brick-and-mortar banks offer just 0.01% interest rates on their savings accounts.

Online banks, on the other hand, offer savings rates that are 100 times better — or more.

Availability

Online banks are always open. The most competitive online banks offer around-the-clock service over the phone or online, and typically have more user-friendly apps and websites.

Some national banks and credit unions may offer 24/7 service, but their physical locations are typically limited to the 9-to-5 business hours.

Pros of Brick-and-Mortar Savings Accounts

Woman using atm

There are advantages to brick-and-mortar banks. However, if these benefits do not hold massive weight for you, we highly recommend an online savings account.

Easy Access to Funds

Emergencies wait for no one. If you have an unexpected need for $ 10,000, it would be nice to be able to immediately access that.

Many online savings accounts take several days to get you your funds via ACH deposit or a written check, though wait times for ACH deposits have dramatically decreased in recent years.

(You can also speed up the process by opening a checking account with your online bank or choosing an online savings account with ATM benefits. Prioritize online banks that offer free checking accounts or ATM convenience cards.)

Brick-and-mortar banks, however, can allow major withdrawals at any of their locations. No waiting necessary.

In-Person Support

Some people prefer to resolve their issues over the phone or online, but many others find comfort in face-to-face communication. By opening a savings account with a bank that offers physical locations, you’ll be able to get in-person help from financial experts during regular business hours.

…and a Toss-Up

When it comes to access to ATMs, there is no clear winner. Obviously, brick-and-mortar banks and credit unions offer ATMs at all their locations, where you can easily withdraw your money.

Many online banks, however, offer fee-free withdrawals at select ATMs, and the best online banks will reimburse you for fees incurred out of network.

Best Savings Accounts of 2019, Ranked

So what are the best savings accounts of 2019? That depends on what you value most.

In determining our top nine, we reviewed more than 20 popular savings accounts and considered what elements seem to be most universally important:

  • Best savings rates
  • Stellar mobile app and/or web experience
  • Convenience of transfers (easy access to funds)

We considered only savings accounts that were FDIC-insured or NCUA-insured and had no monthly fees.

Because physical branch access is becoming increasingly less important, all accounts on our list are online or hybrid (online with some brick-and-mortar bank locations).

So what didn’t we consider when making our list that you might also want to look for?

Bonuses: Because banks regularly add, remove or replace their bonuses, we did not include them in our criteria. If you’re stuck between two or three comparable savings accounts, see which one offers the best sign-on bonus.

Customer service: Quality of customer service is subjective. Read reviews and ask friends and family about their experiences when considering banks.

To truly determine how you feel about the level and quality of customer service, give the bank a call and ask some questions about the account. From that interaction, you should be able to feel out how much each bank values customers and prospects.

Without further ado, here are the best savings accounts of the year:

1. Synchrony Bank High-Yield Savings

We ranked Synchrony’s account as the very best savings account of 2019 because it has the perfect combination of the most important elements of a bank.

APY: 2.20%.

Monthly fees: None.

Minimum balance requirement: None.

Additional fee for withdrawals: None.

ATM card: No fee for in-network ATMs, $ 5 monthly reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees

Access to funds: Electronic transfer to an external account, wire transfer or a paper check in the mail.

Mobile app: None, but its website is user-friendly even on mobile devices. (We did all our research on this bank using an iPhone 7 Plus, just to be sure.)

Details: Synchrony Bank High-Yield Savings account.

2. CIT Savings Builder

In terms of APY, CIT Savings Builder is the best high-interest savings account on this list — but you have to meet certain conditions to earn it:

APY: To earn 2.45% APY, either your account needs $ 25,000 in it, or you must make a monthly minimum deposit of $ 100 to the account. The latter option should be more feasible and is a good incentive to save each month. Drops to 1.17% if conditions are not met.

Minimum balance requirement: $ 100.

Additional fee for withdrawals: None.

ATM card: None.

Access to funds: Electronic transfer, wire transfer (free if you have $ 25,000 or more in the account) or paper check.

Mobile app: Unlike Synchrony, CIT does offer a mobile app. At the time of writing, the app has a 4.6 rating on the App Store and 2.9 on Google Play.

Details: CIT Savings Builder.

3. Ally Online Savings

Though savings accounts are different from checking accounts — and thus should not be thought of as a place to quickly and easily get money — Ally does make it easier than most to access your funds when you need them. Just open a free checking account (ranked 5th in the best online checking accounts of 2019), and you can easily transfer your money over.

APY: Ally offers the same great APY as Synchrony: 2.20%.

Minimum balance requirement: None.

Additional fee for withdrawals: After the six permitted withdrawals a month, you’ll pay $ 10 per transfer with Ally.

ATM card: None.

Access to funds: You can transfer money via electronic transfer, wire transfer or paper check.

Mobile app: Ally’s mobile app is highly rated at 4.8 stars on the App Store and 3.6 on Google Play.

Details: Ally Online Savings account.

4. Alliant High-Rate Savings

The Alliant High-Rate Savings account is offered via the Alliant Credit Union, so instead of FDIC insurance, it carries insurance through the National Credit Union Administration, but the benefits are the same.

Because it is a credit union, joining Alliant can be a little more challenging. You need to fulfill one of these four requirements:

  • Be a current or retired employee of a business that is partnered with Alliant.
  • Have an immediate family member or domestic partner who banks with Alliant.
  • Donate at least $ 10 to Foster Care to Success (consider this the fee to start the account).
  • Live in one of the communities near the Alliant headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.

APY: Alliant’s 2.10% APY is one of the lower entries on this list, but when you remember that PNC, Chase and Wells Fargo offer just 0.01%, it’s a lot easier to see the merit. You need an average daily balance of $ 100 for the APY to kick in.

Minimum balance requirement: $ 5.

Additional fee for withdrawals: Hard limit on six federally regulated withdrawals.

ATM card: Money access is super convenient with a free ATM convenience card that qualifies at more than 80,000 ATMs nationwide.

Access to funds: If you live in the Chicago area, you’ll even have access to brick-and-mortar locations.

Mobile app: It’s got a solid app (4.6 on the App Store and 4.5 on Google Play)

Details: Alliant High-Rate Savings account

5. Discover Savings

The Discover Savings account offers a substantial APY and easy access to funds via a rewards checking account.

APY: 2.10%.

Minimum balance requirement: None.

Additional fee for withdrawals: The bank offers regular bonuses but charges $ 15 per withdrawal after the six monthly permitted withdrawals.

ATM card: While Discover doesn’t offer an ATM card for its FDIC-insured savings account, you can sign up for the Discover Cashback Debit (it’s free!), which earns up to 1% cash back on up to $ 3,000 a month.

Access to funds: The linked debit account provides an easy way to transfer funds; otherwise, you can rely on electronic transfers, wire transfers and paper checks.

Mobile app: Discover’s app has a 4.8 rating on the App Store and a 4.6 rating on Google Play.

Details: Discover Savings account

6. Capital One 360 Savings

While it’s certainly not the savings account with the best interest rate, it makes up for it with no monthly fees, easy integration with other Capital One 360 accounts (including a checking account for easy funds transfer) and a killer app.

APY: 1%.

Minimum balance requirement: None.

Additional fee for withdrawals: Hard limit on six federally regulated withdrawals.

ATM card: None.

Access to funds: If you don’t open a linked checking account for the easy ATM access, you can still access your funds via the traditional (but slower) means.

Mobile app: In 2018, the Capital One 360 mobile app was ranked No. 1 in customer satisfaction in the banking category for the second year in a row in J.D. Power’s U.S. Banking App Satisfaction Study.

The app has a 4.6 rating on the App Store and a 4.7 rating on Google Play. (I can vouch for the app personally; I used it to manage my rewards credit card.)

Details: Capital One 360 Savings account

7. Barclays Online Savings

Barclays has its cons, like challenging access to funds, but its high APY and strong mobile app earned it a spot on this list.

APY: Barclays is one of three banks on this list to offer the competitive 2.20% APY.

Minimum balance requirement: None.

Additional fee for withdrawals: Withdrawals that exceed the monthly limit cost $ 5.

ATM card: None.

Access to funds: Access to funds is more limited with Barclays. You’ll need to arrange an electronic transfer or paper check.

Mobile app: The Barclays app has earned high ratings: a 4.3 on the App Store and a 4.5 on Google Play.

Details: Barclays Online Savings account

8. American Express Personal Savings

You might rely on American Express for your credit card, but the bank offers an online savings account worth your consideration as well.

APY: 2.10%.

Minimum balance requirement: $ 1.

Additional fee for withdrawals: Hard limit on six federally regulated withdrawals.

ATM card: A major drawback of the American Express account is the lack of ATM card.

Access to funds: Electronic transfer, wire transfer and paper check are the only ways to access your money.

Mobile app: It currently has a 4.9 rating on the App Store and a 4.3 rating on Google Play.

Details: American Express Personal savings account

9. Marcus Online Savings Account by Goldman Sachs

Our final online savings account is by Goldman Sachs. It offers a competitive APY, but its lack of a mobile app truly dates the account compared to some of our top options.

APY: 2.25%.

Minimum balance requirement: $ 1.

Additional fee for withdrawals: Hard limit on six federally regulated withdrawals.

ATM card: None.

Access to funds: Withdrawals are limited to electronic transfer and wire transfer.

Mobile app: No mobile app (and thus no mobile check deposit).

Details: Marcus Online Savings Account

6 Tips for Choosing the Best Savings Account

You should be aware that banks can change interest rates, develop better apps and update their bonuses, so it is important to understand how to determine the best savings account for yourself.

Here are a few tips:

1. Consider your needs.

We prioritized high savings rates, ease of funds transfer and mobile apps in our rankings, but maybe for you, two-factor authentication and customer service are top considerations.

Build your own ranking system based on your top two or three criteria. You won’t find a perfect bank that offers everything, but at the very least, you’ll find banks that can meet all of your top needs.

2. Stick with online.

Put your money in an online savings account, unless you have a good reason not to, such as a high interest savings account at a brick-and-mortar credit union or a regular need to get in-person help.

3. Save only with insured banks.

Do not put your money into any bank that is not insured by the FDIC. Or, if you go the credit union route, make sure it is insured by the NCUA. We did not include any banks on our list that were not insured.

4. Don’t be tempted by sign-on bonuses alone.

Earning cash for starting an account with a bank feels awesome, but don’t let the appeal of $ 100 now prevent you from putting your savings into an account that will earn you $ 500 over a couple years.

5. Find a no-fee account.

Be wary of accounts with monthly maintenance fees, statement fees or any other miscellaneous charges. You’re more likely to find these fees with a brick-and-mortar bank.

Ideally, find a bank that has an associated free checking account for easy and fast funds transfers.

6. Read the fine print.

Know what you are signing before you sign it.

If an APY sounds too good to be true, it’s possible there are strings attached — or that the rate is only temporary.

Ask questions and do research when you are confused by any of the terms and conditions, and don’t deposit your savings until you are satisfied with the agreement.

Timothy Moore is a market research editor and freelance writer covering topics on personal finance, careers, education, pet care and automotive. He has worked in the field since 2012 and has been featured on sites like The Penny Hoarder, Debt.com, Ladders, Glassdoor and The News Wheel.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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These European countries offer the best vacation homes

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If you’re the kind of person that loves to travel and explore the world but aren’t too fond of staying in a hotel, vacations homes could be right up your street. These are houses that are rented out by their owners for tourists and explorers alike to enjoy during their vacation. So, you get all of the home comforts you could possibly want, while also being away from your own house and the same ol’ views of your town. Europe is home to some of the most beautiful vacation homes, but have you ever wondered which one is the best?

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom may be small, but it’s one of the most varied destinations in Europe. Within just a short drive of each other, you can make your way to the beach, the countryside, the valleys, and the cities. This means that you can push the boundaries of your vacation home. You can opt for a quaint apartment in the city, or a humongous converted barn surrounded by fields and hills.

Portugal

Because so many people make their way to mainland Spain for their vacations, Portugal often gets overlooked. This means that there are beautiful and empty vacation homes that are just waiting for you to settle down in. Many of these homes offer endless views over the mountains and the ocean, and Portuguese houses are also praised for their architecture so you can get an art lesson at the same time!

France

With endless sunshine and some of the best food in the world, why wouldn’t you want to see what France has to offer in terms of vacation homes? Many of the best vacation rentals in this country are located outside of the city and in rural towns and villages. This way, you get to check out the medieval buildings, sip on a glass of wine or two, and have a dip in your own private pool.

Croatia

Croatia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and offers visitors the chance to see this beauty in all of its glory. The coastline and the beaches are scattered around the whole country, which means you can often stumble upon something magical when you least expect it. The best part? The vacation homes in Croatia are normally traditional, quaint, and absolutely stunning.

Switzerland

If you’re a fan of skiing or just frolicking around in the white stuff, you definitely have to make your way into the mountains of Switzerland. While you can explore the gorgeous towns, cities, and villages, the best vacation homes in Switzerland can be found at high altitude. Yes, we’re talking incredible ski chalets and log cabins that are perfect for a winter away. Make sure you take a blanket and some firewood though because you’ll need it.

If you’re looking to venture across the world and see what Europe has to offer, there’s no need to worry about booking a hotel. After all, these countries all have incredible vacation homes for you to enjoy!

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These 17 Tips Will Help Turn Your Job Interview Into a Job Offer

The job hunt can be a long and arduous process.

Sometimes it takes hundreds of applications before you hear back from any employers. And when you do, your work isn’t over. That was stage one. Now, you have to prepare for the (sometimes) dreaded job interview.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. We’re here to help. With the right preparation, you can turn that interview anxiety into excitement.

17 Essential Job Interview Tips

We’ve compiled the top tips from industry experts. We’ll walk you through exactly what to do before, during and after the interview. It doesn’t matter if this is your first job interview or your 40th, following these steps help you leave a positive impression on your soon-to-be employer.

What to Do Before an Interview

Businessman Reading Resume On Office Desk

Great, your interview is set for Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. Congratulations!

Use the time before then wisely. Unfortunately, you can’t just cruise in and claim your job. You’ll have to do some legwork to distinguish yourself from other applicants. Here’s what you need to do before your big day.

1. Research the Company

Having a solid understanding of the company is crucial. You don’t want to be caught fumbling basic information during the job interview.

You should spend some time on the company’s website to acquaint yourself with its mission statement, top clients, leadership and history.

Adequate preparation can help you feel better, too, according to Michelle Armer, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder.

“To help curb pre-interview jitters, interviewees should give themselves time in advance to prepare and build their confidence,” she says.

And if you’re still feeling anxious, Armer recommends giving yourself a pep talk, rehearsing your answers and listening to energetic music to keep your spirits high.

2. Reach Out to Alumni

To form a well-rounded opinion about an organization, it’s important to hear what its employees are saying. Yes, the company website is a good start, but that’s only one perspective.

Vipula Gandhi, managing partner at Gallup, says feedback from alumni is crucial to understanding a company’s culture before an interview. (Gandhi says her tips are based on more than a decade of experience interviewing candidates and not on Gallup’s research.)

One way to get unfiltered employee opinion is by checking the company’s Glassdoor reviews. Glassdoor is a job-search engine that aggregates anonymous employee opinions and rates companies from one to five stars based on the employees’ ratings. But don’t stop there.

Gandhi recommended using LinkedIn to get in direct contact with current and former employees. That way, you’ll have a clear understanding of the employee experience.

3. Clean Up Your Social Media

What you put on your LinkedIn profile is obviously fair game for HR.

But what about your Facebook and Instagram? Well, if you didn’t submit the social media accounts voluntarily, that could be a legal gray area. But some employers and recruiting agencies use them anyway to screen applicants.

Ben Brooks, CEO of Pilot, a career-coaching startup, says to make sure there aren’t any embarrassing photos of you that are publicly searchable.

“What does your social media say about you?” Brooks asks. “If someone looked at your profile for 10 seconds, what’s the interpretation? What are the three words they’re gonna say?”

Hopefully: You are hired.

4. Conduct a Dry Run and Mock Interview

Doing a complete dry run will make everything easier when the day of the interview comes.

And by dry run I mean driving to the site of the interview to figure out logistics like parking and traffic (or testing your webcam if it’s a virtual job interview) and enlisting a friend to do a mock interview with you.

Dana Sitar, an editor at The Penny Hoarder, compiled a list of the 20 most common interview questions, from the infamous “What are your weaknesses?” to softballs like “What are your hobbies?”

Having articulate responses to common questions will allow you to focus on being in the moment instead of feeling put on the spot.

5. Prepare Your Documents

Depending on your industry and the instructions of the application, documents you may need to prepare could include your resume, portfolio samples or any pre-tests the company may have assigned you.

Regardless of industry, you should bring a few extra resumes with you, just in case. You never know if all the people included in the interview had time to review your application thoroughly. Even if they did, having extra resumes on hand helps you look prepared.

It’s best to have these documents printed out and ready to go the night before. If you don’t have a printer or are having technical problems, stores like UPS, Office Depot and FedEx will allow you to print copies cheaply. There’s always your trusty local library, too.

6. Plan What to Wear

How you look in the interview is almost as important as your qualifications. Planning an outfit can be a delicate balancing act and yet another source of stress for some people.

You want to look sharp — but not pretentious or underdressed.

Richard South, corporate partnership program manager at Georgia Tech, coaches thousands of university students on best interview practices. He says to consider industry trends when choosing your outfit.

Interviewing at a business firm?

“Put on a suit,” South advises, noting that suits may be overkill for other industries.

Computer science or advertising fields might be more casual. The important part is not to guess.

Ideally, you’ve already reached out to alumni and talked about company culture. Asking them about attire is a great way to ensure your outfit is appropriate.

Once you’ve decided what to wear, set it out before you go to bed — pressed and wrinkle-free. It will save you the hassle in the morning.

7. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Research? Check. Documents? Check. Outfit? Check.

Ticking all those boxes the night before will ease your mind and help you sleep. Try to get at least seven to nine hours of shut-eye to be on your A-game the next day.

And make sure that time frame is actual sleep time, not just time you spend lying in bed. It’s likely that you’ll be a little nervous, so give yourself an extra hour to fall asleep.

What to Do During an Interview

Close up of shaking hands after successful agreement.

Now is the time all that preparation and good sleep pays off. Try to stay mindful and relaxed. Don’t worry about rehearsing your answers. You’ve done that already. Be in the moment and you’ll come across more genuine and likeable.

8. Arrive Early — and Alone

General rule of thumb: 10 minutes early is considered on time, and on time is considered late.

Ten minutes is the sweet spot because you want to be early but not so early that they’re not yet expecting you.

And please, don’t bring your parent.

In a somewhat recent phenomenon, helicopter parents have started intervening in their kids’ job hunt.  

A recent survey from Robert Half showed that 69% of hiring managers either would not recommend or are annoyed at parental involvement during job interviews — from explicative phone calls that urge companies to hire their kid, to baked goods used to coax hiring managers.

9. Treat All Staff Respectfully

It doesn’t matter if you took the wrong exit off the interstate and then spilled coffee on your freshly pressed oxford that morning.

Do not get snarky or rude with anyone in or around the company — whether that’s the security guard in the lobby or someone you passed in the street.

For all you know, that could be Jen in accounting.

She doesn’t realize your stomach has possible second-degree burns; she just knows that you bumped into her and scoffed on your way into the office.

And guess who she’s going to tell after you leave? Your hiring manager.

10. Turn Your Job Experience into a Story

When the interviewer asks something along the lines of “So, tell me about yourself,” that’s your time to shine.

Nailing an interview isn’t about regurgitating your resume.

“It’s all about the stories and narrative you have,” Brooks says.

This is also a good opportunity to incorporate experience that wasn’t directly relevant to the job application but could pertain to your soft skills or personality.

Maybe you did an au pair program or studied abroad during college. If so, talk about your international experience.

Dr. Christine Farrugia was the deputy head of research for the Institute of International Education, where she led a study that examined the employability of alumni who studied abroad. She’s now the director of research initiatives at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies.

According to Farrugia, the key is having an anecdote ready.

“The person interviewing you may not ask about it directly,” she says.

11. Ask the Right Questions

Interviews are two-way conversations, says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at Spins, a retail-industry consulting firm.

“You also want to learn from the company if it will be a good fit for you,” she says. “Come prepared with questions that help you determine if you will get all that you need to be successful, not just a paycheck.”

This guide walks you through exactly what questions to ask during a job interview and why they’re useful.

Pro-tip: Ask, “Beyond the core job duties, what are the things you really want to accomplish and achieve with this role?”

Questions like that will not only impress the hiring manager, but will also give you a better understanding of how you’ll have an impact at the company.

There are plenty of areas to avoid asking about, too — like vacation time or basic information about the company.

“How smart your question is would define how the interviewer sees you,” Gandhi says.

12. Mind Your Body Language

Hiring managers pay keen attention to body language.

According to research from Robert Half, unspoken signals, such as eye contact, facial expressions, posture, handshake and fidgeting play an extremely important role into how you’re perceived during an interview.

Many of these cues aren’t intentional. They’re physical responses to how you’re feeling. So internally obsessing about your posture and facial expressions isn’t going to help much, either.

The point is, you should feel confident and relaxed — and those things stem from adequate preparation.

13. Vet Your Potential Manager

When you go into your interview, treat it like a date.

See if you are clicking with your manager. Think to yourself, “If I get this job, I’m going to spend much of my waking life with this person.”

Are they funny? Laid back? Knowledgeable? It’s crucial to understand what makes a good manager because a bad one can ruin a great job, and vice versa.

So don’t let the deciding factor be the salary or the prestige of the company.

“It’s all about the manager,” Gandhi says.

14. Don’t Speak Negatively About Past Employers

Inevitably, you will get a question along the lines of, “Why did you leave your past job?”

Your mind might flash back to all the times you were wronged, and you might be tempted to air some of those grievances. Just don’t.

It comes across as unprofessional. And the new company might think that if they hire you, it will someday be in one of your negative stories.

Instead, focus on talking about the challenges and opportunities of a new job — not the time your old boss took credit for the data you pulled at 2 a.m. to make deadline.

What to Do After an Interview

Graphic designer in the office

Before you bust out of the office to celebrate for a job well done, there are a few other things you should do to increase your chances of getting hired.

15. Ask to Tour the Office

Touring the office works in your favor for a couple of reasons.

First, it increases face time with your hiring manager and allows for some less formal banter as you make your rounds and introduce yourself to potential colleagues.

Beyond that, it allows you to see what’s really happening on the ground floor. As you walk through different pods or workspaces, take note of the office morale. Does everyone look stressed or excited?

If it’s around lunchtime, see if a lot of employees are eating at their desks. That could be a sign of being overworked.

If they say no to the tour, it’s not a deal-breaker. It’s possible that there isn’t enough time built into the interview to accommodate an office tour, but it never hurts to ask.

16. Establish Next Steps

Before you say your goodbyes, make sure to have a clear time frame of when you will hear back.

Nothing can be more frustrating than completing an interview and then feeling everything goes silent,” Haefner says.  “Ask the company where they are in the recruiting process… and who is best for you to follow up with for status updates.”

Asking about this outright saves you some guesswork, and you won’t be left pacing back and forth in your living room thinking, “It’s been one day. Why haven’t I heard anything? Shouldn’t they have sent an email? I’m going to call them. They probably hired someone else!”

When in reality, they likely have internal processes that you’re unaware of.

17. Send a Thank-You Note

Thank-you notes are a surefire way to distinguish yourself from other candidates. Hiring managers love them, and applicants often forget to send them.

In our Jobs Hunting 101 ecourse, we recommend sending them regardless of how the interview goes.

An email should suffice. Try to send it out within 24 hours of your interview, and make sure to separately thank everyone who interviewed you.

In your messages you should include:

  • A recap of the value you bring to the role.
  • Any small clarifications or points you didn’t mention during the interview.
  • Sincere gratitude and enthusiasm.

Avoid the temptation to copy and paste the same scripted message to everyone. That could backfire. Where possible, personalize it as best you can. Give it a little flair.

And if you really want brownie points, don’t send an email. Send a handwritten thank-you note.

Adam Hardy is a staff writer on the Make Money team at The Penny Hoarder. He lives off a diet of stale puns and iced coffee. Read his full bio here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Trump’s State of the Union will offer ‘bipartisan way forward on immigration,’ White House official says

In a preview of Tuesday's speech, a White House official said Trump would adopt a "unifying, bipartisan, and optimistic tone." The official declined to say whether the president would declare a national emergency to build a border wall.
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These 6 Stores Buy Used Clothes. Here’s How to Get the Best Cash Offer

Do me a favor and take a quick look in your closet. Overflowing, right?

Well, there’s a solution to that problem: selling your used clothes.

It’s a win-win, and you don’t have to wait for a spring-cleaning binge to get started. In fact, you should do it seasonally to stay in vogue.

So tear a page from the Marie Kondo playbook and make one big pile of all your clothes. Yes, even your winter gear from the living room closet. Definitely the swimsuit collection in the basement. And all the baby shower clothes that you never even used, too.

You may surprise yourself with the amount of clothes you have once you get them all in one place. Kondo recommends that as you sift through your stuff, you ask yourself, “Does this item spark joy?”

Nope? Then sell it.

Where to Sell Used Clothes

Plenty of apps and websites like Poshmark, Threadflip, Etsy and eBay allow you to sell your clothes online. But maybe you don’t have the technical know-how (or the patience) to do it yourself. Don’t fret. There are several other brick-and-mortar places to pawn off your used clothes, shoes, handbags, accessories — even baby clothes, toys and supplies — to get cash in your pocket by the end of the day.

A woman shops for clothing at Upscale Cheapskate, a trendy thrift store.

Uptown Cheapskate

Want to pop some tags? Uptown Cheapskate is your place. It’s located in 21 states and is a cross between a trendy boutique and a thrift store for young adults. You can sell or trade in men’s and women’s clothes at any of its locations. Trade-ins get 25% bonus store credit.

Brands that do well at Uptown Cheapskate include Urban Outfitters, Levi’s and H&M. If you’re unsure if your clothes will fit in style-wise, visit its website for more info on trending brands and styles.

Buffalo Exchange

Founded back in 1974, Buffalo Exchange has remained family owned as it has expanded to 19 states and the District of Columbia. And if you don’t live in one of those areas, the clothing exchange has a sell-by-mail program. The company is a firm believer in reusing and recycling clothes to reduce waste and pollution (and save cash). Each store also partners with local charities.

Buffalo Exchange accepts a wide array of clothes for both men and women — vintage, athletic wear, plus sizes and more. Contrary to its name, it does not accept bison at this time. Sorry in advance.

Clothes Mentor

Clothes Mentor is a one-stop shop for fashionable women’s clothing sized 0 to 26 and maternity wear. It’s a hub for those who want designer brands without designer price tags.

Clothes that sell well include Armani, Banana Republic, Saks Fifth Avenue, White House Black Market and others. Shoes, accessories, jewelry and handbags are also accepted. 

Clothes Mentor has 143 stores across 30 states and, at certain locations, offers personal shoppers who tailor outfits to suit your tastes.

Plato’s Closet

Ah, the ole standby, Plato’s Closet. You may not have known this was a clothing exchange store, but it’s likely that you’ve caught a glimpse of one of its more than 470 locations in North America — probably tucked between your local Chinese buffet and the grocery store.

Plato’s is Winmark Corp.’s most successful clothing exchange franchise, and it’s aimed at teens and young adults. Everyday styles from Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, H&M, Nike and Obey are typically in demand. Plato’s Closet also buys athletic wear, shoes and accessories.

To see if your wardrobe surplus is a good fit for Plato’s, browse its website for other brands and styles that sell well.

Style Encore

Another solid option from Winmark Corp. is Style Encore. It’s like Plato’s sibling, only slightly older and more sophisticated.

Style Encore accepts women’s clothing from brands like Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, Coach and Kate Spade. Like Clothes Mentor, Style Encore has personal stylists to help you look like a million bucks (without spending a million).

It’s Winmark’s newest clothing exchange brand, so locations aren’t as comprehensive as Plato’s. Double-check the store locator to find the closest one to you.

Once Upon a Child

Last but not least in Winmark’s clothing resale portfolio is Once Upon a Child.

It’s no surprise that child care expenses are a budget buster, but this store can help keep costs down when it comes to baby clothes, supplies and even furniture.

In addition to children’s clothes sized preemie to youth 20, Once Upon a Child will buy used cribs, cradles, strollers, baby electronics, halloween costumes and toys. Even more good news for parents: You won’t have to look very far. Once Upon a Child has more than 350 stores across the U.S. and Canada.

Local Consignment Shops

If none of the above stores fit the bill, you can always try your nearest consignment shop.

These shops work a little differently than clothing exchanges, because consignment stores may not pay you until your item sells. That means it’s unlikely you’ll walk out with a pocketful of cash. It’s also difficult to predict what brands they will buy, because most local stores don’t have databases and metrics to go off of. Sales are often based on personal taste or season.

But hey, anything is better than leaving unused clothes tucked away in the furthest corner of your shelf for years to come.

How to Get the Most Cash From Your Clothes

A thrift store owner goes through clothing a customer brought in to sell.

Some things are guesswork when trying to sell your clothes. Stock and styles change, so it’s hard to say for sure which brand or outfit will sell. However, there are a few things you should always take into consideration, no matter the item or the store.

Following these few guidelines will ensure you get the best quote possible.

Clean and Fold Your Clothes

If it seems like I’m wagging my finger, it’s because I’m wagging my finger.

Almost every store listed above recommends washing your clothes before taking them in. Since your payout is based on an associate’s quote after they carefully check each item, you don’t want dirt or food caked to your shirt. It’ll definitely go in the “no” pile.

Likewise, super wrinkly clothes come across as unwashed, and you don’t want to give that impression. So be sure to fold them neatly before taking them in.

Use a Nice Basket or Hamper to Carry Your Clothes

Quick! What do you think of when you see trash bags?

Trash, right? Not clothes.

Presentation matters. The associates checking your clothes don’t want to sift through trash bags. So after you’ve washed all the clothes you want to sell, fold them and place them in a basket, hamper or box that you can take to the store.

Check for Damage or Pit Stains

If you were a shopper, would you buy a shirt that had pit stains or a missing pocket? Didn’t think so. The stores work the same way. They don’t want damaged, stained or heavily faded clothing.

Before you take your clothes in, examine them under a bright light to check for tears or discoloration.

Pro-tip: In general, to keep colors bright, you can soak your clothes in salt. Only wash them as needed — inside out and in cool water to avoid fading.

Sell Your Clothes Often

Buffalo Exchange’s biggest tip is to buy or sell your clothes every three months. That way, your clothes cache will always be in style, which means more money in your pocket when you sell.

Since most clothing exchanges buy with seasons in mind, it may be best to wait till spring or summer before purging your bathing suits.

Unless you live in Florida. Then January’s probably fine.

Adam Hardy is a staff writer on the Make Money team at The Penny Hoarder. He believes in the life-changing magic of selling all most of your things. Read his full bio here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Fact-checking Trump’s border speech and DACA offer

President Donald Trump laid out a broad immigration deal In an address from the Roosevelt Room on Saturday that would fund his signature border wall in exchange for protections for more than one million immigrants.


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The President, who will address the nation today, isn’t expected to change his border wall demand but will offer Dems other concessions, senior official says

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Israel drone maker Aeronautics gets $232 million buyout offer

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The coolest bars Berlin has to offer

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Home of the famous Berlin Wall and the capital of one of Europe’s most entertaining and experienced-packed countries, Berlin is filled with vibrant streets, legendary parties, and cultural landmarks you just can’t miss. It’s a tourist destination that attracts millions of people from around the world every year. In addition, one of the things that Berlin is known for is it’s unique bar scene.

The bar culture in Berlin is something to be taken very seriously, as the city offers a wide variety of hip places to hang out. Here are some of the coolest bars that Berlin has to offer

The Green Door

Behind an actual green door lies The Green Door, a very popular cocktail bar that attracts a lot of tourists and deep-pocketed regulars who come to experience the classy lounge environment while sipping on one of their delicious cocktails from their impressive beverage menu. Their specialty? The Green Door cocktail that brings you a balanced mix of excellent champagne, lemon, sugar and a touch of mint. It’s a go-to bar you just can’t miss.

Das Hotel Bar

If you are looking for something a little more casual and relaxed, Berlin’s famous Das Hotel Bar is the place to go. It is located in the heart of Kreuzberg and is known to be one of the best places to visit in that area. With a variety of local drinks, live music, and shabby decor, you don’t have to worry about being too dressed up or worrying about your credit card being drained. Simply grab a chair, sit down with your friends and try their famous twist on the classic gin and tonic. But don’t let the casual look fool you as this place can get pretty packed during the weekends, so make sure you get there early if you want to grab yourself a table.

Klunkerkranich

Looking for a beautiful view with that beer? Located on top of a high building, the Klunkerkranich is the absolute best and top of the line rooftop bar in Berlin. Known to attract the youngsters of the city, this bar surely does the trick on a hot summer day or a spring night as you watch the sunset with a delicious drink in your hand. And unlike other places, this bar is far from pretentious. Maintaining a strong cultural vibe around an urban gardening scene, this bar is worth the three euro entrance fee that goes towards keeping the place green and supporting the live music that plays there every day. If you’re looking for a beautiful and relaxing place to grab a drink, Klunkerkranich is the place.

There is truly an endless list of spectacular bars in Berlin, all unique and interesting in their own way. From the refreshing open-mindedness of the Silver Future bar to the elegant and classic ORA bar, there really is a bar for every taste and budget. Sitting in a local bar is also a great way to bond with the community and to experience the culture of Germany, as you meet individuals who share their stories in places that resemble pieces of German history.

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Trainers-to-the-stars and a ‘clean eating’ restaurant on offer at The Well

A pricey health and wellness club with celebrity practitioners will open this spring at 2 East 15th St. The Well will feature a gym, spa, wellness space, health coaches and practitioners of East and West medicine in its 13,000-square-foot space. Along with yoga, meditation, traditional and private training sessions, the gym will offer high intensity…
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The best blow dry bars and blow dries London has to offer

Party hair, don’t care

Unless you’re a dab hand with the old vented brush, blow dry bars are pretty essential to have in one’s little black book of beauty.

Whether it’s a big night out, New Year’s Eve party or wedding that you’re attending, a good blow dry is just the ticket every single time. From cool girl beach waves, big bouncy K-Middy vibes or a volumised straight ‘do, these blow dry spots covers all bases.

So without further ado, let’s run through the best blow dries London has to offer for a spot of pampering in the capital. You and your hair deserve it.

Windle and Moodie

blow dry bars London Windle and Moodie

Tucked just off the West End is this absolute gem of a salon and its cracking blow dries. The team is lovely (Paul Windle himself is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met), down-to-earth and hard working. All of the stylists are incredibly good at their craft and will spend as long on your hair as necessary to make sure that it’s nothing short of perfect when you leave the salon. They’ve thought of every little detail here – having your hair washed in a dimly lit, spa-like room makes a head massage all the more relaxing, and you’ll be offered a hot towel for your neck if a conditioning treatment is applied. Every time I’ve been my style lasted two or three days, and that’s what I call a great blow dry.

How much is it?

From £45, dependent on stylist

Location

Just a stone’s throw from Covent Garden at 41-45 Shorts Gardens, Seven Dials, WC2H 9AP

Hershesons

blow dry bars London Hershesons

Legendary Luke Hersheson himself is one of our 2019 Hair Award Winners, so you can expect big things from a visit to the flagship salon on Berners Street in the heart of Fitzrovia. Blow dry styling is available in 15-45 minute options, depending on the thickness of your hair and whether you want it washed beforehand, and you’re spoilt for choice with style options. As well as their excellent hair services, under the Hershesons roof you’ll also find Sunday Riley facials, Ministry of Wax and DryBy nails. So while you’re there you can get your new year’s party mani sorted, too.

How much is it?

From £34 (express wash-free is £17)

Locations

The Berners flagship has captured our hearts, but you’ll also find a Hershesons salon in Harvey Nichols, as well as blow dry bars in Topshop Oxford Circus, One New Change and Harvey Nichols Beauty Lounge in London, and Selfridges in both London and Birmingham.

29-32 Berners Street, Fitzrovia W1T 3LR

Daniel Galvin

blow dry bars London Daniel Galvin

Wind your way through the third floor of Selfridges and you’ll come face to face with one of Daniel Galvin’s chicest spots. Wash stations are complete with foot rests, so you can literally put your feet up while having your hair done, and it’s tucked out of the way enough that you forget you’re in the middle of one of the capitals biggest department stores. Whether you want big and bouncy or soft and understated, they’ve got it all covered – I can personally recommend Dan for an ace blow dry that’s styled perfectly for your face shape and lasts (as well as a cut beforehand, if you’re in need).

How much is it?

From £35, dependent on stylist

Locations

Marylebone is home to their flagship salon, as well as operating out of Selfridges London (above), Kensington and at the Corinthia Hotel, home to one of the best London spas.

3rd floor, Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB

Duck & Dry

When it comes to blow dry bars with Instagrammable decors, Duck & Dry is the top of the London hit list. The bars are relaxing surroundings are great spaces to chill out in – think pink interiors offset with teal accessories and a whole lot of plants – and the blow dries are rather good too. Choose from their menu of styles for a speedy service, whether you’re in need of beach waves or a vintage ‘Va Va Voom’, or try one of their updos for something even more sophis. This one’s a great choice for a social too; get the gals together and sip on prosecco while you have your hair done with one of their group packages.

How much is it?

From £30, dependent on style

Locations

Those Instagrammable stairs can be found in the Oxford Circus bar, with Duck & Dry locations also in Chelsea, Spitalfields and Soho.

28 Market Place, Fitzrovia, W1W 8AW

The post The best blow dry bars and blow dries London has to offer appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Virtual reality start-ups offer a VR experience that’s part movie theater, part theme park

Dreamscape Immersive — backed by Hollywood's biggest players including IMAX, AMC, Fox and Warner Bros. — is opening up its first permanent location this weekend in one of Los Angeles' biggest malls,
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Galeries Lafayette and Ester Manas to Offer One-Size-Fits-All Fashion

A NEW SIZE: Redefining the age-old “one size fits all” notion, a collection of adjustable dresses, tops and trench coats designed by Ester Manas will be sold at Galeries Lafayette this spring.
“It’s a collection that draws on the idea that all women must be dressed,” explained Manas, winner of the department store’s prize at the International Festival of Fashion and Photography in Hyères, France, this year. Pointing to a sweatshirt with a bright red elastic belt, the designer explained that the collection, called “Fashion for All,” is meant to span a range from European size 34 to size 50, thanks to the help of belts, straps and snaps.

A look by Ester Manas, who will create a capsule for Galeries Lafayette. 
Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

“We liked this open vision of fashion,” noted Alix Morabito, fashion director of Galeries Lafayette. The department store was interested in pursuing something “playful and very free” for the season, which worked well with Manas’ approach, she added.
The two showed how a gathered shirt sleeve on a cotton dress could be extended to cover part of the arm; the print was stripes of text: “xs, s, m, l, xl, uni.”
Manas also conveyed a body-positive message.
“People can buy the same item…there

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Report: Timberwolves reticent to accept Rockets’ four-first-rounder offer, which includes Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss

Which players is Houston sending out to match salary? Apparently the answer to the first question is Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss, who salaries can be aggregated Wednesday (two months after being acquired from the Suns). Minnesota is showing no inclination to move on Houston offer of two injured players and four first-rounders for Jimmy Butler, per sources.

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Trump’s ‘opportunity zones’ are popular with investors, but they might offer less benefit to voters

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Tackma to Offer Elevated Unisex Collection

Jeffrey Schottenstein wants Tackma to speak to more consumers.
Schottenstein, the son of Jay L. Schottenstein, chairman of American Eagle Outfitters Inc., founded the streetwear line, which stands for “They All Can Kiss My A–,” in 2011. Now he’s hoping to broaden Tackma’s scope with Tackma Studio, an elevated, unisex collection that’s being guest-designed by Gregory Abbou, who cofounded Taverniti So Jeans in 2003 and has consulted for labels including Iro, Re/Done, Genetic Denim, Guess and L’Agence.
“I wanted to bring more awareness to our brand story and mission,” said Schottenstein. “Tackma is about challenging the status quo and embracing your individuality and I think that this unisex collection embodies that.”
The collection, which is made in Los Angeles, includes T-shirts, hoodies, outerwear and long-line shirts made from French terry, Supima jersey and modal cotton. The pieces come in a mostly neutral palette of ivory, black, gray and clay pink, with special dying techniques to create marbleized tones and hand-embroidery details such as raw edges and seams. It retails from $ 170 to $ 525 for outerwear, $ 75 to $ 225 for shirts, $ 168 to $ 195 for sweatshirts and $ 170 to $ 220 for pants. The Tackma collection retails from $ 25 to $ 68. Schottenstein said the plan

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Rebecca Taylor to Offer Services to Help Time-Starved Customers

TIME SAVER: Need a manicure? Or a new hairstyle? Or just want to put your kids somewhere while you shop? Rebecca Taylor is offering harried women a time-saving shopping experience. Beginning this Saturday, Taylor’s boutique at 980 Madison Avenue in New York will offer customers complimentary babysitting, hairstyling, manicures and workout classes, among other things. Called Saturday Services, the Rebecca Taylor brand will strategically align with other brands such as Dry Bar, Pure Barre, Paint Box and Hello Sitter to offer these complimentary services on Saturdays to their customers. One service will be offered each week and a geo-targeted e-mail will go out to people in the neighborhood touting the particular service.
“We recognize that women are time-starved, and there are many demands on her weekend. Saturday Services was conceived so that our customer can maximize her time by aligning activations that would enhance the shopping experience and provide valuable services,” said Janice Sullivan, chief executive officer of Rebecca Taylor.
She said the company developed the program to not only bring traffic into the store, but to help their customers, who are juggling full-on careers and raising children. “Rather than do book signings or talk about finances, this makes her life easier,” said

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