Stressful. Nerve-wracking. Exciting. These words could sum up a job interview or a first date perfectly. That's why preparing for an interview is a lot like getting ready for a first date. Naturally (and let's hope) the end result isn't quite the same, but with proper readiness, the outcome for both can be a positive one.

Dates are generally more fun than interviews, so if you plan for your interview as you would a date, the process will seem a lot less daunting. With a little groundwork to make your interview as smooth as possible, this pre-interview prep will have any hiring manager impressed. You'll be best equipped to land the job you want. Then, you can celebrate your new role by using your tactics to enjoy a perfect date!

Do Some Digging

Nowadays, getting some background info about your date isn't only a curiosity tamer, but a safety measure. Same goes for seeking out information about the job you're planning to interview for. But more than satisfying curiosity, doing your research will give you the tools to speak intelligently during the interview and show that you are serious about the job at hand. You can also do some poking around to learn more about the person hiring you so you can learn about their role in the company and have some ammo when it comes to chatting about things you may have in common.

As far as safety goes, you'll be able to determine if the company is real, does what you were told they do, and where they are located.

Note: Just like a date, don't reveal that you've done this amateur personal background check to avoid seeming creepy. Looking up company details are relevant and fine to comment on however.

Get a Good Night's Rest

You want to be fresh, energetic, and on the ball for a first date as well as (or even more so) for an important job interview. While you may have the jitters, it's imperative you get to bed at a reasonable hour so you are the best version of yourself for the big interview.

Put away your smartphone (Facebook can wait), turn off the TV (Judge Judy can too), and make the bedroom as dark as possible. Avoid any heavy eating just before bedtime, and if you drink, have no more than one serving. No one bottle of wine is NOT considered a serving. If you are completely wide awake, consider taking a warm bath or having a mug of chamomile tea. Both will soothe you and have you drifting off in no time.

Set the alarm with plenty of time to breathe deeply in the morning and to get ready at a leisurely pace before the interview so you aren't in freak-out mode in the morning. You'll want to have time to dress nicely, do your hair, and make sure your shoes match.

Eat Something Before You Go

Even if you have a dinner date planned, it's always smart to have a light bite beforehand. Arriving on an empty stomach can make you feel moody, nauseous, or sluggish. Same goes for filling up before an interview. You'll need substantial energy to make it through all the questioning and conversation.

Eat something nutritious and balanced, but not too big. You don't want to feel weighed down or find yourself in need of a bathroom as soon as you arrive at the interview. Consider a yogurt parfait, some whole wheat toast with avocado, a cup of soup and a half sandwich, or a fresh salad.

The fuel will keep your mind sharp and your body going strong. Just be sure you don't drip anything on your suit!

Exude Confidence

As nervous as you may be before a date or an interview, as long as you seem confident, whomever you're with will believe you are. You can practice your confidence skills pre-interview to assure you come across as intelligent, focused, and of good character.

Check your posture as you sit at home throughout the week before the interview. Are you slouching or slumped? It's time to throw your shoulders back and hold your head high. Body language is an important factor that hiring managers are tuned in to.

Practice talking with people, even strangers, and maintain good eye contact and show genuine interest in the discussion.

Brush up on any relevant business lingo and latest trends and developments in the field. The more you know pre-interview, the better things will go if you're hit with intricate questions. And if you don't have the answer to something, be straightforward. Honesty is just as confident as knowing it all.

Are you ready to ace that interview? While it may not be as romantic as dinner and dancing, it will fulfill your mind and future with the prospect of the launch of a new career.

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Home garden and porch

As anyone who has ever sold a house will tell you, you must prioritize curb appeal. Before a potential buyer even considers looking inside your house, they notice the outside first. Does it attract the right kind of attention? Does it take away from the feel you're going for? If you plan to sell sometime soon, you must think about these things. Here are some landscaping options to increase your home's curb appeal, so you can get the best price on your home.

Extensive Plants and Greenery

A barren front yard won't get you the price you want on your home. So, invest in at least a little bit of greenery to keep the surrounding area from looking too dead. Shrubs and bushes tie the house to the lawn that precedes it, and flower beds bring a pop of color to an otherwise drab structure. You can also strategically plant some trees to improve the overall feel of your home's exterior.

Lawn Care

As we mentioned, your lawn is one of the most prominent features of your home's exterior. A patchy, dried-up lawn will quickly drive your home's price way down. Some of the best landscaping options for your home's curb appeal involve improving your lawn for the next inhabitant. Overall fertilization, ground aeration, underbrush removal, proper mowing—all of these lawn care tasks contribute to a greener and more lively area that invites people to see your house, rather than stay away from it.

Paved Pathways

There's nothing like a broken and disheveled pathway to make someone think twice about buying a property. Just as you want the entryway in your house to be welcoming, so too should the pathway leading up to the house be inviting. The pathway from the street to your front door provides plenty of real estate to get creative with. You don't have to settle for a boring concrete pathway. Consider something more eye catching, like a cobblestone path or intermittent brick patterns, as a way to better welcome potential buyers.

Usable Outdoor Furniture

Landscaping doesn't just involve the ground you walk on; also included are the items you use as extras to the overall look. Outdoor furniture is one such extra that you don't necessarily need but can look quite attractive if done correctly. Staging is important with outdoor furniture. Old, broken-down pieces will only look like more work to the potential buyer. A few comfortable chairs, a bench, or a table with an umbrella really go a long way to improving your outdoor aesthetics.

A good tip for deciding on curb appeal items is to decide what you personally would want to see as a part of a welcoming home's exterior. You don't need to go overboard, but a little bit of forethought could net you quite a lot of extra cash in the sale.

Unfortunately, giving back can sometimes go haywire. If you're ready to make a donation, first consider common mistakes made when giving back.

Many people strive to support their community by donating their time or their money. When you find a meaningful cause, you might be quick to cut a donation check. Though it's admirable to be quick to act charitably, you should be wary of several common mistakes made when giving to charity. Being mindful of these mistakes and learning tips for making informed charitable choices can help you make the most out of your generous check.

Acting Quickly Out of Emotion

Mission statements are meant to be compelling. If you're an emotionally driven individual, it's natural to pull out your wallet at the sight of a sad puppy on TV or when informed about food insecurity over the phone. Unfortunately, not all charities are as effective or official as they may seem.

Take your passion for helping others one step further by making sure your chosen charity is legit. Speaking with a representative, reviewing their website and social media accounts, and looking at testaments online can give you a better idea of whether the organization is worth your donation.

Forgetting to Keep Record of the Donation

Don't forget that you can reap some financial perks from giving back! With the proper documentation of your donation, you can acquire a better tax deductible.

If you donate more than $12,400 as a single filer or $24,800 as one of two joint filers, you're eligible to deduct that amount from your taxes. So, when a charity asks if you'd like a receipt of donation, always answer yes.

Donating Unusable Materials

Most charities can utilize a monetary donation—it's the physical donations that usually cause some issues. Providing a local nonprofit with irrelevant materials or gifting them with unusable products are surprisingly common mistakes made when giving to charity.

Always check your intended charity's website for a list of things they do and do not accept. The majority of places will provide a guideline to donating or offer contact information to clarify any questions.

Strictly Giving at Year's End

As more and more people get into the holiday spirit at the end of the year, nonprofit organizations see an influx of donations. While it's great to spread holiday cheer via a monetary donation, it's important to keep that spirit going year-round.

With regular donations, charities can more effectively allocate their annual budget. Setting up an automatic monthly donation with the charity of your choosing can maximize your impact. You can account for a monthly donation by foregoing a costly coffee every once in a while.

Knowing how much you should spend on home maintenance each year is hard to figure out and may be preventing you from buying your first home. The types of costs you'll incur depend on the house you buy and its location. The one certainty is that you should start saving now. Read on to figure out how much to start setting aside based on the home you own.

The Age of Your House

Consider several factors when budgeting for home repairs. If you've purchased a new home, your house likely won't require as much maintenance for a few years. Homes built 20 or more years ago are likely to require more maintenance, including replacing and keeping your windows clean. Further, depending on your home's location, weather can cause additional strain over time, so you may need to budget for more repairs.

The One-Percent Rule

An easy way to budget for home repairs is to follow the one-percent rule. Set aside one percent of your home's purchase price each year to cover maintenance costs. For instance, if you paid $200,000 for your home, you would set aside $2,000 each year. This plan is not foolproof. If you bought your home for a good deal during a buyer's market, your home could require more repairs than you've budgeted for.

The Square-Foot Rule

Easy to calculate, you can also budget for home maintenance by saving one dollar for every square foot of your home. This pricing method is more consistent than pricing it by how much you paid because the rate relies on the objective size of your home. Unfortunately, it does not consider inflation for the area where you live, so make sure you also budget for increased taxes and labor costs if you live in or near a city.

The Mix and Match Method

Since there is no infallible rule for how much you should spend on home maintenance, you can combine both methods to get an idea for a budget. Average your results from the square-foot rule and the one-percent rule to arrive at a budget that works for you. You should also increase your savings by 10 percent for each risk factor that affects your home, such as weather and age.

Holding on to savings is easier in theory than practice. Once you know how much you should spend on home maintenance, you'll know what to aim for and be more prepared for an emergency. If you are having trouble securing funds for home repairs, consider taking out a home equity loan, borrowing money from friends or family, or applying for funds through a home repair program through your local government for low-income individuals.