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Interview tips you won’t find elsewhere

I have read so many blogs on great interview tips etc., here are some that I would love to have shared with potential candidates from my past. Yes, I have dealt with at least one of each.:

 

1. Be sure to clean your eye glasses. Having smudges or even mascara rubbed on them is distracting when I am talking to you. You may not see them, but I do.

 

2. Be sure to brush your teeth – again very distracting.

 

3. Take it easy on the cologne. I may have asthma, or at least may have by the time you leave.

 

4. I do not want to see you butt or breasts, so keep them covered please.

 

5. Don’t call me honey – yes you women too. I am not hun, honey, or sweetheart.

 

6. Don’t lie on your resume and then forget what you had on it. And keep in mind, I do verify references.

 

7. When I ask what your best qualities are – don’t tell me getting along with others and then tell me you left old job due to personality conflicts. You see my point here don’t you?

 

8. When explaining your past responsibilities, don’t lay in with how the old supervisor was a bitch – that just means you will be calling me names too one day.

 

9. Don’t introduce yourself as Jane /John Doe and then say but all my ID says Julie/Josh Adams. I will have some questions…

 

10. Don’t show up a half hour early with your lunch to the interview and ask if you can use the waiting room as your cafeteria. Leave your food and drink in the car. It probably won’t be long before you will be joining it anyway.

 

And if/when hired, keep in mind:

 

1. If the back of your SS card says do not laminate, and you laminate it – I cannot accept it as ID. Don’t yell at me, you laminated it.

 

2. The law tells me I have to ask for your documentation – if you don’t have it, please get it before your first day of work. You should be old enough to have your VALID driver’s license, SS card and / or passport available. You needed it at your last job, so please bring it to this one too. Not my law. Again, don’t yell at me.

 

3. Don’t show up late for your first day – first week – first month.

 

4. Don’t come to work and then take 20 minutes in the bathroom to fix yourself up. Come in 10 minutes early and be working when your start time arrives.

 

5. Don’t ask me for an advance the first day on the job. Prove your worth to me, and earn your paycheck.

 

Others may not concern themselves with these tidbits of information, but I do.

 

Thank you and happy job hunting!

Repost because nothing has changed: Why I am not a journalist!

Originally posted 4/13/2010:

I love to write. I love to do research. I love to read. So, why am I not a journalist?

 

Because your job is harder than mine.

 

You are given or come up with a topic. You work hard to find the right resources and work out a schedule to interview those resources and gather all the necessary information and make a powerful, informative article that people will want to read. Sounds easy to some, but I know better.

 

The topic must be something that you are familiar with, interested in, or can at least relate to. Or for those who just have wonderful skills, be able to KNOW how to sponge the information from various research for use in a fabulous paper for print.

 

Resource can be anyone. Can ramble so badly that you want to shout – GET TO THE POINT, or worse, could answer your questions without really answering your questions. Occasionally the smooth, precise, clear speaker is found, but it is a rarity. (trust me, this I do know.)

 

Scheduling the interviews – Resources can schedule the interview and change ten minutes before it was to begin, as if their time is the only time to consider, or can start the interview and have to go due to some conflicting appointment after just 5 minutes, or even want to do the interview so early in the morning or middle of the night – just because they can. Others just want to talk to hear themselves talk and can go on and on and on. For these however, many of you have your interview stopping statement to bring it to a close, and are so charming when you use it.

 

Those items can be tough enough, but what’s worse is when you are interviewing someone who is so arrogant, uninteresting, incoherent, or a double talker. Someone who assumes you know nothing at all, questions your abilities and knowledge and lets you know it. Or someone who said they could help you in your mission for a really good story and you find out they really have nothing at all. For example, you asked about really great marble to use in a bathroom remodel and they talk about port-a-potties. You know what I mean. And many of you are so diplomatic that you find something – anything – this person has talked about in order to say it was not a wasted appointment.

 

And then there are times the interview goes well. You have what you need and you find that you did the entire 50 minute interview and forgot to turn on your recorder, or it malfunctions during the interview (or after), or your computer crashes and you lose the entire kit and caboodle.

 

All of this is just the items I can decipher from transcribing your interviews. All of this is what amazes me when I see your final product after publication and am amazed how wonderful it is. Your job is much harder than mine.

 

I just transcribe the interviews and other material. If I had to deal with just that kind of “stuff” I would probably be unemployed from saying something like “hey, Buddy, do me a favor and just answer the damn question. And while you’re at it, can you pay attention to what you are responding to and stop eating or calling out to your friends who are walking by as you talk to me, and hey buddy – the phone works better when you talk into it. Can you get any closer to the man yelling in the background, I am not hearing what he is so mad about. I was ready yesterday for our 10 a.m. appointment and you changed it to 3 a.m. so how about pay attention to the questions so I can go back to bed.”

 

Me, I can sit here, transcribe your audio, and smile…better you than me. I will just wait for you to go to print and see how amazing you made the information into something that others can understand and draw from.

 

That is why I am not a journalist. I am just a transcriptionist, here to type your audio, help you meet your deadlines and watch you take all that hard work you do and make an article worth reading, sharing, and discussing for months and months.

 

Better you than me. I will stick to reading your articles thus remaining employed.

 

 

 

http://www.clktranscription.com

As a journalist, do you ever have enough time?

As a journalist/writer, when you have a project that has been assigned, there are so many steps to get through to be able to develop the perfect article, the perfect end-product, that it’s a wonder you have enough time in the day to even think about them all.

There are phone calls to make. Interviews to set up and then to hold. Outlines to write, and even the final article/chapter/paper to complete. Possibly even photos to choose. Editors to deal with. The list goes on and on. All the while, juggling the business of life that is always there, and quite frankly more important that any article, book, paper you will ever write – your family.

So when you can, it’s nice to know it’s okay to ask for help. Help that will give you that hour, hours, or even days to handle the other aspects of your project and the important parts of your life. And when you can find that help, and it’s within your budget, that is all the more reason to consider asking for it.

CLK Transcription understands the needs of the journalist. We understand their deadlines and we understand their budgets. We have been fortunate to be able to assist many with their audio/video transcription and we have grown to understand that their audio is a valuable tool in their work, but that the transcription of it is time-consuming and cumbersome for them to handle on their own. It, quite frankly, can interfere with the completing the project itself and absolutely interrupts the family time they could have if they just didn’t have to do it themselves.

 

The good news is THEY DON’T!

CLK Transcription can handle their audio/video transcription and develop a quality document, and return it to them in most cases within 36 hours or less. Now they can get on with the project and get on with their enjoyment of a little bit of family time. We even transcribe voice mail. Yes, many can get that service for free, but are the messages usable, understandable, or delivered timely? If it’s free, do you get what you pay for?

We are able to work with any downloadable audio, and yes, we work with cassettes, DVDs and CDs. We even convert white paper to an electronic document. And if you have an audio you want to transcribe yourself, but just need it converted to a different medium – we can do that, too! We even offer a FTP site for those who need the transferability of their files to others. All at a cost that fits within your budget.

So, when you have a project and you need a little or a lot of help with the transcription, why not find out how we can assist? You may just find the time and money you have been looking for.

We are an email away from starting your project today and having it back to you with a day or so. We are US owned and operated and never send anything off shore. We offer a confidentiality agreement to every client. We never use speech recognition, and every project is proofread before delivery.

www.clktranscription.com

Consider the format you save your audio/video files when forwarding to your transcriptionist.

Although we here at CLK Transcription can handle all downloadable formats, some formats need converting before transcription, and others are so large they take time to download, log, and upload.

For example:

  • If you don’t need embedded time code, consider saving in mp3 format. Transfer speeds for video formats vary, and some can take a considerable amount of time just to reach us.
  • If recording on Apple product, be sure to save in format that plays on other devices. An Apple m4a format will only play one side of the conversation unless converted in iTunes to a m4a version playable on other devices.
  • Files such as WebEx files that require their own player/program to be downloaded also take a great amount of time to transfer – it is just the nature of the beast. We can download and convert, but again, additional processing time is needed.

Currently CLK Transcription has 150 files to download in mov format from one client. At the 1 hour to transfer for every 5 files due to size, this could be interesting since the client wants them back in 24 hours. Yes, the client had the same issue uploading to us.

Yeah, that expected TAT is not something the rock star CLK Team can handle right now. Even though they only total about an hour of audio to transcribe, download time is a factor. We could say, “yes”, but why blow a deadline for a client? We are moving them ASAP, but at least they have a  realistic time frame to work with, and having great communication with our clients allows us to better serve their needs, and allows them to expedite their future projects as well.

Many other transcriptionists/transcription companies do not have the ability to convert due to cost of or knowledge/experience with programs, and some may not have the bandwidth to handle a load like this, along with other work arriving during any given day.

Again, CLK Transcription can handle any downloadable format and has no bandwidth issues to consider, but keep in mind, additional processing time is needed in cases like this, making a priority status not always realistic.

 

WWW.CLKTranscription.com

End of the Summer. YEAH!

With the end of August we find schools are opening their doors and our children are back to the grind of books and learning, the cooler weather is coming and people are done with those warm weather vacations.

I could not be happier, and I love summer heat.

Why?

Because this year has been the busiest we’ve been here at CLK, and with it came the summer months and vacations, and kids being home, and illnesses, and fires, and even more than a few weddings and honeymoons, and those things slowed us down in the production end, even as we geared up and increased staff.

Every member of the team is happy to be getting back to the real regular grind of a work schedule with less interruption and less distraction.

Many of our clients have been so understanding and we hope we have taken opportunities to make it up to those we have had to turn projects away and say ‘we can’t’ to. It is one of the hardest things we have had to do, but rather than be dishonest and make promises we can’t keep, we feel being honest in our ability to handle a deadline is better in the end for everyone involved.

It has been busy, but busy is great, right?

Except that we, here at CLK Transcription, understand that every piece of audio or video, and every hard copy conversion, or any project that we accept or that we have to turn away is more important to the client than it is to our opportunity to say we assisted them in completion, and we take it to heart when we cannot do what we do best – meet a deadline and help our clients meet theirs.

So now with the end of the summer, and the summer madness over, we are happy to be able to get back to the work that we love so much on a regular frantic schedule.

We learned a lot this summer. We continued and will continue to increase staffing and offer continued education for all the transcriptionists here, and we have worked on increased scheduling for the weekends, with a cutoff for priorities and project files accepted in the evenings and on weekends, so that we could continue to treat every client as the valued client they are here at CLK Transcription.

Some may have found those changes too much to bear and moved on, but we hope that in the end, they will realize these changes were made for every client and their projects and will once again let CLK Transcription assist with their transcription needs. We are ready and willing to remind them of why CLK Transcription’s team of transcriptionists rock!

We truly love what we do.                                                Bring on autumn.

www.clktranscription.com

Happy New Year 2015 from CLK Transcription

Goodbye 2014 – Welcome 2015

     CLK Transcription has had another wonderful year. 2014 was filled with wonderful recognition for CLK Transcription’s work that can be found in books, magazines, and production credits, with many of our clients winning awards, including an EMMY – how cool is that!?! Yes, CLK Transcription was acknowledged for work on all six episodes of the project “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross.” (We continue to work on numerous production projects and look forward to seeing those shows included in the 2015 lineup.)

I continue to be very proud of where CLK Transcription has come from, where we are going, and the work performed, and even prouder that CLK Transcription does it for wonderful clients like you, all while maintaining rates lower than the national average, and keeping every project accepted by CLK right here in the United States. Something even our international clients appreciate.

I would like to take this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to all the wonderful people who have helped make CLK Transcription one of the fastest growing transcription companies in the US. We have a great team that allows us to continue our work in medical and general transcription with or without time-code or special formats, as well as other specialties, from maintaining calendars, to transcribing voice mail, database development, monitoring email, proofreading, copy-editing, substantive editing, and more.

CLK Transcription was excited for 2014 to begin and even more so for 2015 to get here. With a growing contractor pool, all based in the US, and all eager to grow their trade and be the best they can be – we are even better able to handle your project with the quality you demand, at a cost you can afford, and within the deadlines you need. Members of the CLK Transcription team fall into all US time zones allowing us to accept projects virtually around the clock, and we rarely close entirely except for a few hours during major holidays, and even at those times, there is always someone on call to answer your questions or process priority files.

  • To my family of friends and supporters, who put up with long days and late nights, and frequent coffee runs when making a pot at the office just won’t do, and for all the delivered dinners when client deadlines were looming. Thank You!
  • To my office staff, who put up with my expectations of organization and quality control, and for having the drive to research additional services we can offer our clients, as well as cost-saving strategies in all facets of CLK Transcription so that I can keep rates extremely competitive.  Special thanks for putting up with my taste in music and PJ Sundays! Thank You!
  • To my closest friends and acquaintances, who have to listen to me go on and on about how busy CLK Transcription is, the demanding clients, projects, and deadlines, and how much I love it! Thank You!
  • To the team of independent contractors who accept assignments through CLK Transcription – you rock! And you put up with my no-nonsense style of being your client, so we can offer no-nonsense results to my clients. Additionally, your never-ending thirst for gaining additional experience and knowledge and challenging yourselves, understanding that what we do, every day, is an education and running with the possibilities every single time. Just awesome. Thank You!
  • To the clients who trust CLK with their video and audio files, production projects, voice mail, manuscripts, webinars, meetings, proofreading / editing, hard copy conversions of your business cards, recipes, diaries, etcetera, and who know, we do truly love what we do here at CLK. We hope it continues to show. Thank You!
  • To CLK Transcription’s social media contacts who share items of interest that are useful in CLK’s team of transcriptionists gaining even more depth into what our clients do, how they do it, what they expect from us, and what we can do to assist them, and for sharing our posts so we can broaden the reach of our client’s work, you are amazing! And lest we forget, the quirky, opinionated, feline-filled everyday chit-chat that keeps us all sane – how could we enjoy our downtime without you? Thank You!

I also have to acknowledge and sincerely thank on behalf of the entire team here at CLK Transcription, those people who have made some wonderful referrals and recommendations to CLK Transcription. We look forward to assisting all of you with your transcription needs well into the future, and always have room for new clients and projects. Remember, every client receives a confidentiality agreement.

Now I’m not saying CLK Transcription is perfect, but we are perfectly happy doing what it takes to help our clients be more productive. If you haven’t tried CLK Transcription, check us out. We will save you time and money.

We are an email away from assisting you with your transcription needs.

 

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Twitter = @CLK_Shortcake

Facebook = http://www.facebook.com/CLKTranscription
and

http://www.facebook.com/CLK-Trans

LinkedIn = http://www.linkedin.com/in/clktranscription – View comments made by our clients and find out why we come highly recommended.

http://www.clktranscription.com

Preparing for a New Year as a Small Business

Are you ready for the New Year?

It isn’t just about parties and champagne when you own a small business.

For a small business, in most cases, being ‘ready’ also means:

  • Closing out the accounting for the year,
  • Organizing and filing away the previous year’s records,
  • Developing 1099s, W2s, and final quarter tax reporting,
  • Reviewing potential ‘needs’ for growth in the New Year, and
  • Reviewing items that need attention for improvement,

all the while continuing with your daily routine of handling projects, employees, contractors, and inquiries.

As a small business owner, the party comes when those items are complete, and completed without interrupting the quality you offer your clients. If we can get that finished and still have hair and without depleting the nation’s coffee supply, then we can celebrate.

Some things we can do to make that end of the year rush go smoother:

  • Find a bookkeeping program and use it. Make sure to enter and file receipts as soon as possible. Find out from your tax person/CPA which program they use and find one compatible if possible. Closing your year and sending an accountant’s copy is faster and easier, and more complete, than trying to develop spreadsheets and sending packages of receipts.
  • If you haven’t done it yet, begin a filing system that makes sense to you.  It doesn’t matter if it makes sense to someone else. If you need something, you will be able to find it. Once you have done that, then train someone else to handle your filing using the same method you use. Now, not only do you have assistance with the mundane chores, you have backup for when you may not be available. And that filing system should be for both current and ongoing items as well as what you have in storage from previous years.
  • That bookkeeping program I mentioned, find out if it provides the data for your 1099s and w2s you need to develop. Most, like Quickbooks, have the information handy, even if you do not pay for the premium versions. You just have to play with the program and get used to where those reports are. As a bonus, Quickbooks for Dummies is a great read.
  • You’ve worked the entire year with established and new clients. You handled projects you have never worked before and may have spoken with potential clients on bidding for new projects. Whether you won new projects or had repeat clients, be sure you research what your niche’ needs, what others are offering, or what others are looking for. Reflect on those items you may need to improve or offer so the New Year allows you better opportunities for growth.
  • You may have also kept in contact with your clients over the years, but be sure to keep that connection and communication open before, during, and after a project. Ask for feedback and make note of those concerns your clients have with regard to your finished product. A complaint is not a bad thing if you can use it to improve what you offer. Just be sure to work to improve it. That one client complaint, if ignored, will soon become a complaint of many if left unchecked. It is only a plus to be able to have a client who complained, come back for a second try, and you can make them happy.

Keep in mind this preparation is not just for clients. You should be reviewing your vendor list, chart of accounts, and even your supplies are current and appropriate for the New Year.

And lastly, review the social media sites where you have profiles and update them, keep them fresh and relevant. Remember, this will be something your clients or potential clients will review, as well as others who may not need your services but are researching for others who may. Having a pretty picture and no description of what you do, how you do it, and who you do it for will just end up being a pretty picture better posted on Instagram.

So I ask again, are you ready?

Allow your transcriptionist to save you time and money by following these simple tips.

Got audio you need transcribed?

When sending audio to your transcriptionist, is it always good to give them as much information as you can about your needs, such as:

 

  • How long is the file? This is important so we can confirm we received the entire file. Although transfer programs are great, sometimes our own connections when uploading or downloading can cut off a file leaving us to believe the entire file was sent or received. Having the length, or approximate length, allows us to verify receipt of the entire file.

 

  • What is your drop dead turn around needed. Most transcription companies work a 24-72 hour TAT depending on length of audio and difficulty. Giving us what your drop dead turn around time expected allows us to be sure to meet your needs, or be honest and let you know it can’t be done. Most cases, if an extremely large file is received – 3 hours or more, we may be able to send you what is complete in parcels, so you can begin your work while we finish the audio project.

 

  • Is there a portion of the audio that you don’t need transcribed? Is there a start time or end here time that you do not need transcribed which can save you money? If we do not know about dead air or conversations you do not need, we will transcribe everything, and dead air will be calculated because we do have to listen to make sure we don’t miss something. Giving us exact time to start or stop will save you money if you had dead space in the audio.

 

  • Are there any names that may not have common spellings? Giving us speaker names will help speed up the process. Most times we will take the time to search for the correct spelling, however this is not always possible with some generic interviews, so having the correct spelling or how you want them to be noted is a help. Maybe you don’t want names. Maybe you would prefer generic we use Male or Female Speaker, Interviewee, or just use initials.

 

  • Do you want verbatim/verbatim with absolutely no clean up or verbatim with minimal cleanup – meaning false starts and stutters. Perhaps you want as much clean up as possible – making the speakers grammar correct, etc. Most cases, CLK will do verbatim with minimal cleanup (false starts and stutters only) unless otherwise instructed. We understand we are not the writers. We will transcribe what we hear and let you write the article using exactly what was said, how it was said.

 

  • Do you have a special format you want followed? Font size and type, margins, etc? CLK Transcription has a “standard” easy to cut and paste format we use for our projects, however if you have something specific for every file or just one file, let us know. We will be happy to use it for your work.

 

  • Are there technical terms or places mentioned that may be difficult to research. CLK Transcription does research work when transcribing, and tries to verify what was said is what was transcribed, but sometimes terms and phrases are just too difficult to locate quickly and takes some time. Sending as much of this information as you can when you send your audio file, hot words, will save time when you need your project quickly.

 

  • Let us know if you feel the audio is difficult and we will attempt to enhance the audio to make it clearer, louder, or less static which will save time on the transcription end.

 

  • Is there a specific way you want the files named when we are complete? CLK Transcription usually names the completed reports exactly the same as the audio file, unless otherwise instructed. Doing this allows you to match the audio with the report when working on your project. If you would like them named a different way, let us know. we will be happy to oblige.

 

  • Do you need files invoiced separately? CLK Transcription understands the needs of the journalists and writer. Many need separate invoices for each project, and we are happy to do this for you. Just let us know as you send the audio.

 

Remembering some of these tips will allow us to better handle your project files and be certain we are giving you what you need to do your work more efficiently – and that’s part of our job.

 

www.clktranscription.com – We love what we do and it shows!

Why should you care about your medical dictation being sent off shore?

 

Your medical information dictated by medical professionals includes: Social history – including how many alcoholic beverages you drink and where you work and live; family history – including how many siblings, health of your family; past medical history – including surgeries, illnesses; medication history – including every medication you have taken and are currently taking; allergies; and personal statistics including height, weight, eye color, and birth date.

Is there anything else you need to give to someone who wants to steal your identity? They don’t need your social security number anymore. They get your insurance information and everything else listed above. They just need to become you and your medical provider may be giving them exactly what they need to do that, and HIPAA regulations don’t mean squat overseas.

Let’s not forget your credit history and direct personal information sent to collection agencies who use off shore call centers to follow-up on past due accounts. Many of these call centers are intertwined with the off shore transcription companies and data storage facilities…they call it multitasking.

Ask your provider, insurance carrier, hospital, and anyone you give personal information to if they have their transcription done here in the US. Demand that they do.

Insurance companies are selling your information to drug companies and equipment providers. Example: How many diabetics receive calls from equipment providers asking them if they want a new glucose monitor? They already know who your insurance carrier is…how? Because they got your contact information from them. Pretty scary, huh? How many of these call centers do you think are actually in the US? Very, very few. No one appreciates having to push 1 for English, so why do you allow calls from off shore call centers regarding your personal information.

Even unemployment and worker’s compensation providers are using off shore companies to handle their claim dictations. Some car and home insurance providers also send your information off shore when they have their reports transcribed.

Think speech recognition and EMR are safer? Think again. Many larger MTSOs (Medical Transcription Service Organizations) and other suppliers send this work off shore either for processing or for ‘storage’ and have US transcription editors review and edit the information, and they never tell their clients that it is being done.

Now think about your company’s information, and all of the trade ‘secrets’ you send off shore with your audio. Do you really want to share that information with those that do not have to adhere to our rules and regulations? Does anyone remember the women who threatened to release her clients transcripts? http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/SPECIAL-REPORT-Looking-Offshore-Outsourced-2774413.php

Do you think this has changed???

When is enough, enough? Not only is it costing US jobs, it is costing many more their identities and livelihood.

Demand your personal information remain safe and any sharing of the information be secure and governed by HIPAA regulations or other US regulatory guidelines.

 

 

Spring is finally here!

The weather is changing, and it looks like Spring has finally arrived in more than just a few states. Those of us in the Northeast thought it would never arrive with snow, snow and more snow, and then teasing temps in the 60s and 70s, only to have yet more snow the next day.

Yes, Spring has finally arrived! The winter of 2013-2014 has many still waiting for the buds on the trees to begin showing themselves leaving us wondering if we will have any leaves at all to clean up next fall.

But YES! Spring is really here – FINALLY.

The weather is changing and people are once again venturing out without their winter jackets, hats, and gloves, to enjoy the warmth of the sun. The hibernation is over. Cabin fever and winter blues will soon be long forgotten.

Vacations are being planned, graduations are on the horizon, proms are being anticipated. Gardens are being laid out, and husbands are looking forward to the outside chores that will soon be on the ‘honey-do-list’. (okay, maybe that is pushing it a bit.)

There are so many family activities to enjoy now that the temps are rising and the shining sun does more than just melt the fallen snow away.

For the journalists, ASJA is also held this week. The time to educate and be educated, connect and be connected, and meet up with those friends from all over the nation will once again be here. I know so many who look forward to this week every year. It is planned to perfection, talked about all year, looked forward to by all. Those who cannot attend trust that the events will be recapped by the great conversations that will go on and on until the next event, never tiring of listening to every word, while they do what they can to ensure they attend next year.

Yes, Spring is here!

And most importantly, candy, especially peeps, will be on sale tomorrow.

 

Happy Easter every one, and enjoy Spring!