How to Ace the Most Important Part of Your Job Interview

Handshake illustration
Anna Parini

You're a perfect fit for the job. But that doesn't mean you're definitely going to get it

We’ve all been there. You aced the job interview and your credentials are a perfect fit for the position. Now comes the hard part – the ‘beer test’ or the personality test, a casual chat over drinks or dinner meant to determine how well you will fit with an organization on a personal level. Since your resume can’t really capture what kind of person you are, both you and the interviewer are walking into an unknown situation with unpredictable results.

But despite the dangers of the process, it’s possible to pass the test with flying colors if you recognize the priorities of your potential employer and the questions they are really trying to answer:

What else are you good at other than work?

This may seem irrelevant to the job but it’s not. While serving on the board of a mid-sized radio group, I was tasked with identifying and hiring a new Chief Operating Officer. The leading candidate was a long-time consultant for media companies who checked all the technical boxes for the job. However, learning about her passion for composing music in her spare time and sailing gave me a sense of a well-rounded person who could not only manage the firm’s logistical operations but also liaison with the quirky radio personalities that were our bread and butter.

She got the job and was extremely successful at securing popular new radio hosts for us, many of whom enjoyed discussing her music with her more than audience ratings. She also organized a sailing outing for the firm, which was a hit with the employees. Revealing your outside interests can help your interviewer see the three-dimensional person you are and (maybe) tap into some of your hidden talents.

Are you socially adept?

There are two aspects to this. Some very smart and capable people are bad at social interaction. In some professions, such as medical research or back-office accounting, that might not matter. But in other jobs, such as in marketing, sales, or even general management, social skills are extremely important and can determine your ability to do your job. How well you engage with your interviewer during a beer test will show him or her how good you are at interpersonal communication.

In addition, your future employer may be trying to gauge if you know how to socialize with a work colleague, which is not necessarily the same as with your friends. When spending time with a colleague, you need to be aware of personal boundaries that would be dangerous to breach. You may not, for example, want to discuss the subject of dating, which a colleague might consider intrusive and which could cause problems in the work environment later. It also opens up the company to lawsuits.

Being friends with your co-workers without being too friendly isn’t easy but essential, especially in smaller organizations where socializing is inevitable. Too much closeness can lead to awkwardness, misunderstandings, and office gossip. When confronted with this type of challenge, your best bet is to show your acumen by using it – chat engagingly but casually, avoid sensitive topics, and show your interviewer that you know how to have a good time within boundaries.

Are you Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde?

In vino veritas as the saying goes. In wine (or beer) there is truth. This is probably the single most important reason for employers to want to meet a candidate socially. We all put on our best face during official interviews, but from an employer’s standpoint that can be a problem. After all, no one wants to hire the polished Dr. Jekyll and wind up with the wild Mr. Hyde instead – especially in the age of social media where that picture of you dancing on a table with your shirt off can go viral.

A social outing tends to entice people to let their guard down. That’s totally fine, as long as you don’t let it too far down and maintain the same decorum you would with anyone you respect. Another vital thing to remember is that just because it’s called a beer test doesn’t mean that you have to overload on the beer. Whenever you’re around co-workers, it’s always best to moderate your drinking, and this is something a smart interviewer will watch for.

And if you’re a party animal who just can’t help himself, and manage to offend your potential employer with your behavior, then you may be better off working at a different company or in another profession.

Why do you really want the job?

When interviewing analyst candidates during my investment banking days, I would routinely receive canned answers to this question, but what I was really looking for was that spark of honesty that gave me confidence the candidate was truly motivated to work at the firm and would go that extra mile for his or her job.

In a beer test, the logic is that without the pressure of being in an interview room, a candidate will feel more comfortable giving a heartfelt answer to the question. If you’re in this position, keep in mind that there isn’t one ‘right’ answer. In some cases, the fact that you want to use the job as a stepping stone to some other career in the distant future is perfectly acceptable – as long as it’s clear to the employer that you’ve really thought about it and have a convincing motivation to excel at the job.

The problem arises when you really don’t have a compelling reason for wanting the job except for being unemployed at the time. If all you want is a paycheck and the job you’re interviewing for requires deep commitment, then the job may not be right for you. That’s a reason to take a step back, be honest with yourself as well as your future employer, and decide if you have a better reason for taking that job.

Great employees flourish in great jobs, but only if the two are compatible. The beer test is designed to determine this very intangible.

Sanjay Sanghoee is a business commentator. He has worked at investment banks Lazard Freres and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, at hedge fund Ramius Capital, and has an MBA from Columbia Business School.


This Is the Silver Bullet to Reducing Workplace Stress

It’s something almost everyone can do

Ever get so stressed you want to tell your boss to go take a hike? Maybe you’d be better off if you took that advice yourself.

New research finds that a half-hour walk at lunchtime promotes increased relaxation and reduced stress among office workers. “Walking… seems to have both energizing and relaxing properties in the workplace,” writes lead author Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani, an associate professor in the Psychology and Speech Pathology School at Curtin University in Australia.

In an experiment with 75 university administrative staff members that asked participants for frequent, real-time feedback over the 10-week course of the study, subjects reported being more relaxed, more enthusiastic and less nervous on afternoons following the lunchtime walks they took three times a week.

“On days in which participants walked during lunchtimes, they experienced significantly greater levels of enthusiasm and relaxation at work during the afternoon compared with afternoons when they had not walked at
lunchtime,” Thøgersen-Ntoumani writes. This combination, she finds, gave the employees more motivation and made them feel like they were doing a better job at work.

The new study does come with some caveats: Among the subjects (more than 90% of the whom were women), some seemed to experience more fatigue after walks on days that were dark or cold, and the walking was conducted in groups, leaving open the possibility that the social interaction could help boost people’s moods as well as the physical activity.

But these findings are worth taking seriously because they build on a body of earlier research that say exercise can effectively reduce stress, including workplace stress. For instance, British researchers found that people who exercised before work or at lunchtime reported enhanced performance on the job, being better able to manage their workload and time management. They also said they were more motivated and better able to deal with stressful situations that arose.

An online Harvard Business Review article last year offers some clues as to what’s behind this. People who exercise feel more capable of tackling tasks or challenges — and feeling like you’ve got a handle on whatever the boss or a client throws at you can go a long way towards lowering your stress.

One of the biggest obstacles to exercise is a lack of time, but you don’t need an hour — or even a half-hour — to benefit: “The link between exercise and mood is pretty strong,” psychology professor Michael Otto tells the American Psychology Association’s Monitor on Psychology. “Usually within five minutes after moderate exercise you get a mood-enhancement effect.”

And you don’t need to be a gym rat to begin with: The subjects in Thøgersen-Ntoumani’s study were all sedentary, defined as getting less than 150 minutes of physical activity a week, and they benefitted from those midday strolls. “The increase in sedentary jobs requires innovative solutions to help get employees more physically active at work,” she writes. “The lunchtime walking program tested as part of this study… indicated that it was effective” at targeting sedentary employees, she concludes.

TIME Careers & Workplace

10 Behaviors of Smart People

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They don’t have all the answers

“Stupid is as stupid does.” The great irony of Forrest Gump was how insightful his simplistic sayings really were. Sort of the opposite of Peter Seller’s character in the classic movie, Being There. Everyone thought Chance the Gardener was brilliant but he really was a dolt, albeit (spoiler alert) a dolt who could walk on water.

In case you don’t know, Gump’s line means you are what you do. In other words, it doesn’t matter how intelligent you think you are or are supposed to be, if you consistently do dumb things, you’re still dumb.

I’m sure this offends the politically correct crowd. Want to know what I say to that? Stupid is as stupid does. If you can’t discuss something as fundamental as human intelligence for fear of offending people, I don’t care how smart you think you are, you’re just dumbing yourself down.

Smarts are ridiculously important and I’ll tell you why. Smart people make smart decisions and that’s the most important factor in how things turn out for you.

One of the smartest choices you’ll ever make is to seek out smart people in your work relationships. Just to be clear, I don’t mean those who think they’re smart but do dumb things. I mean the real deal. Since we don’t have smart meters built into our foreheads, here’s how to tell if someone’s smart, starting with the obvious:

They make smart decisions.

Smart people know their actions have consequences. They also know that they have to earn business results one decision at a time. In other words, a few smart calls won’t make you omnipotent. Consistently making good decisions takes discipline and focus.

They learn from their mistakes.

From our first steps to our last, we learn everything in life by trial and error. We all make mistakes because that’s how we learn. Smart people learn from theirs. After all, if you don’t face reality and judge yourself honestly, you’ll never do better next time.

They don’t have all the answers.

There’s an old saying, “Those of you who think you know everything are annoying to those of us who do.” It’s a funny line but if you say it in earnest, that’s pretty annoying. Smart people don’t need to constantly reinforce the fact by acting like know-it-alls. They’re smart enough to know how much they don’t know.

They surround themselves with smart people.

No man is an island. Individuals may be smart but small teams do the best work. Steve Jobs may have been a control freak, but he made sure the eight or nine people on his leadership team were the most talented he could find and taught them to do the same with their teams. That’s smart.

They are resourceful.

Since human intelligence is an evolutionary advantage — we didn’t evolve an enormous neocortex for no reason — intelligent people are generally more adaptable and creative in the way they make use of their surroundings to achieve results.

They can reason.

I will never get this as long as I live: Even when presented with irrefutable evidence that they’re wrong, many people will consistently hold their ground as if their life depended on it. Without critical thinking, logical reasoning, causality, and the scientific method, we’d still be living in the dark ages.

They don’t follow fads.

We live in the golden age of fads and pseudoscience. Frankly, nothing speaks louder to the dumbing down of society that was portrayed so accurately in Mike Judge’s futuristic spoof Idiocracy. Urban Dictionary calls it a “movie that was originally a comedy, but became a documentary.” Truth.

They don’t live beyond their means.

Don’t get me wrong, we all stretch ourselves somewhat when we’re young. But once you’ve achieved something you don’t want to lose, it’s not very bright to squander it needlessly by living beyond your means.

They’re often their own worst enemy.

As developed as our frontal lobes are, everyone has at least one emotional blind spot that haunts them. Oftentimes that’s just the flipside of whatever it is that makes them smart to begin with. Like yin and yang, they need each other to coexist.

As entrepreneurs, they’re not always successful.

In my opinion, when it comes to business success, intelligence is necessary but not sufficient. I’m not talking about shysters who sucker people or someone who made a fortune off a single smart trade. To found and run a successful business over the long haul, you’ve got to be smart. Period.

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com.

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TIME Automobiles

Audi Wants to Deliver Amazon Packages to Your Car

Couriers would track your car with GPS and open the trunk with a one-time access code

Is it a car, or a mobile mailbox? One car manufacturer wants to make it both.

The German carmaker Audi said Wednesday it will begin testing a delivery system in Munich that will allow people to order products from Amazon and have them delivered to the trunk of their car.

The idea is to make it easy for people to receive packages when they’re not at home.

An Audi spokesman told the New York Times that the pilot project would be the first auto delivery system involving an online retailer. Volvo has already tested package delivery to cars and will roll out the service soon in Sweden.

The Audi service would involve the German package delivery company DHL, who would send a delivery worker to a GPS-tracked car and open the trunk using a one-time, temporary-use code and deposit a package. The technology would have to be installed in your car, and would come with all new vehicles.


TIME Food & Drink

Here’s What New Coke Tasted Like

Can of New Coke beverage. (Phot
Al Freni—The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Can of New Coke

Thirty years ago, Coca-Cola introduced what seemed like a fizzling new idea

It was, TIME declared, “like putting a miniskirt on the refurbished Statue of Liberty.”

Thirty years ago, on April 23, 1985, Coca-Cola announced that the company would take an unprecedented step in the ongoing cola wars: changing their formula. The secret formula for the classic soft drink would be locked away in a vault, forever, replaced that May with a sweeter pop designed to appeal to changing American tastes.

Prior to the roll-out, the company boasted that the new flavor beat out the classic (and also rival Pepsi) in taste tests. TIME’s food critic Mimi Sheraton weighed in on the taste too, deciding that the new soda wasn’t all that different:

New Coke seems to retain the essential character of the original version in that it, too, imparts faint cocoa-cinnamon overtones and has a balanced, smooth body with no sharpness or overpowering flavor. However, it is sweeter than the original formula and also has a body that could best be described as lighter. It tastes a little like classic Coca-Cola that has been diluted by melting ice. I have always preferred Coca-Cola to Pepsi, finding the latter much too sweet and thin. Most of all, I dislike the citrus-oil flavor I seem to detect in Pepsi. And though the new Coke approaches the sweetness and thinness of Pepsi, it does not have the lemony aftertaste. Therefore, I still prefer Coke. I suspect that those who have preferred Pepsi will continue to do so.

The change was billed as the first in nearly a century of Coke-making (not including the switch from sugar to high-fructose corn syrup, which wasn’t meant to affect the taste). And, as in natural when such a big change comes along, fans were nervous. Even before the New Coke went on sale, consumers told TIME they were nervous that the company would “ruin a good thing.”

Judging by the world’s reaction to the New Coke, those consumers were right: it was only three months before Coca-Cola gave in and brought back Coca-Cola Classic, bowing to pressure from people who were outraged that an American institution had been altered.

But, though the New Coke story has gone down in history as a business and marketing debacle — the president of Pepsi-Cola was quoted in TIME calling it “the Edsel of the ’80s” — that’s not the whole story.

In fact, New Coke wasn’t actually all bad for the company. Coca-Cola denied that New Coke was an elaborate marketing stunt, though that was a popular theory. Still, even accidentally, it worked. Coke’s stock soared when the classic formula came back and even in those anger-filled months between April and July, sales were good: “In May, Coke sales shot up a sparkling 8% over the same month in 1984, double the normal growth rate,” TIME reported. “Some of the increase included sales of old Coke still on store shelves, but most of it was the new drink.” The following year, when the company celebrated its hundredth birthday, it was with reports of sales that continued to climb.

Still, that didn’t keep New Coke (later called Coke II) from one last bit of infamy before it faded into the supermarket shelf sunset: the drink made it to TIME’s list of the 100 worst ideas of the 20th century — right alongside Crystal Pepsi.

Read more about the New Coke story, here in the TIME Vault: Coca-Cola’s Big Fizzle

MONEY Advertising

Under Armour Wants You to Wear ‘Avengers’ Underwear

UnderArmour Under Armour's Alter Ego line, the quickest way to get six-pack abs

The sports apparel company that some think will be the new Nike is on quite an amazing run—partnering with Masters champ Jordan Speith, Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady, and now, the Avengers.

At long last, it appears to be acceptable for grown men to wear Underoos. That’s essentially what Under Armour’s new Alter Ego line of Avengers-theme shirts and leggings is, isn’t it?

The product line includes polyester T-shirts, as well as skin-tight “compression” shirts and leggings that make the wearer resemble superheroes such as Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, and others from the new film Avengers: Age of Ultron. The first Alter Ego products from Under Armour were released in 2013 featuring Super Man and Batman gear, and a new roster of items has been timed to coincide with the latest Avengers movie hitting theaters on May 1. The options include a $59.99 shirt that makes you look like the Hulk, complete with faux six-pack abs, and unlike the original Underoos for kids, Alter Ego gear is made in adult sizes and is intended for the world to see rather than serving as mere undergarments.

Avengers’ costume designers actually worked with Under Armour for the new film, and in what seems to be some brilliant product placement the company’s “tactical gear” is worn by superheroes in the movie. If a shirt is good enough for Captain America, Thor, and Tony Stark, after all, it must be more than adequate for your workout at the gym, right? Here’s a little about how Under Armour was incorporated into Age of Ultron:

The partnership with the surefire blockbuster hit movie is the latest in an incredibly hot streak for Under Armour. When 21-year-old golfing phenom (and UA client) Jordan Speith recently won the Masters, it was estimated that the exposure was tantamount to $33.6 million in advertising. Meanwhile, another high-profile Under Armour athlete, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, is on everyone’s short list for regular season MVP in the NBA, and yet another (New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady) started the year by grabbing the Super Bowl MVP while leading his team to the championship.

Oh, and about the same the Patriots were winning the Super Bowl, Under Armour was releasing a product line featuring one of the greatest and most famous athletes of the 20th century: Muhammad Ali.

To recap, Under Armour has got some of the best and most popular players in sports on their side, as well as “The Greatest” period. And now, with the Age of Ultron partnership, the company has teamed up with the Hulk, Thor, and Captain America. No wonder Under Armour seems capable of convincing grown men that they want to dress up like superheroes, and pay $60 for T-shirts while they’re at it.

To be fair, Under Armour isn’t the only apparel company playing the superhero card to an adult audience. Sets of actual adult-sized Underoos (briefs and T-shirts) in varieties like Batman, He-Man, and Captain America went on sale last fall and promptly sold out in a few hours.

Call us crazy, but we’re partial to the original, just-for-kids Underoos like the ones advertised in this classic commercial:

MORE: 12 Things Made for Kids That Are Now Marketed to Adults


PayPal Eclipses eBay’s Marketplace Ahead of Spin-Off

As it prepares to spin off PayPal over the summer, eBay reported stronger than expected first quarter earnings Wednesday thanks to its growing payments business. But eBay’s marketplace is declining, which doesn’t bode well for its success after saying goodbye to PayPal.

Indeed, the report hammered home the divergent trajectories of the two businesses in one nugget of data. PayPal, the one-time upstart in the corporate family, has finally eclipsed eBay’s marketplace in revenue.

Sales in EBay’s bazaar of antique vases, used cars and outlet clothing fell 4% to $2 billion. Meanwhile, PayPal’s revenue grew 14% to $2.1 billion, slightly edging out its sister division.

The payments arm has long been the fastest growing business for eBay. The core marketplace business was still growing, although at a slower rate than PayPal. But while digital and mobile payments take off, the marketplace business has recently floundered amid stiff competition from Amazon and others. The changing of the guard was inevitable.

In anticipation and under pressure from investor Carl Icahn, eBay decided to spin-off PayPal, the company it acquired more than a decade ago. CEO John Donahoe explained that the once-symbiotic relationship between the two divisions wasn’t as tight as it used to be and that they could do better alone while focusing on their respective businesses.

While all signs point to PayPal emerging from the spinoff as a healthy company, it will likely be a different story for eBay. Without PayPal, eBay would merely be a slow-growth business at best and a possible acquisition target, and a possible acquisition target of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba could be an interested buyer as it looks to expand to the U.S.

Short term, however, Devin Wenig, the future CEO of eBay’s marketplace business, mentioned another challenge for eBay’s marketplace. Recent changes by Google to its search algorithm has negatively impacted product listings in results and that eBay is looking to fix the problem.

Thankfully for eBay, it doesn’t look like the company will face competition from PayPal anytime soon. Earlier this month, the company revealed additional terms of the split, with eBay and PayPal entering into a deal that prohibits them from competing against each other after they’ve parted ways. PayPal is blocked from creating its own marketplace for physical goods, while eBay has promised to steer clear of building a payments system. As part of the agreement, the two companies will share data around payment risk and security.

In prelude to the split, eBay and PayPal still report their earnings as a combined company. Its overall quarterly revenue increased 4% from a year earlier to $4.45 billion, in line with analyst expectations. Profits excluding certain expenses came in at $943 million or 77 cents per share, slightly higher than the 70 cents that analysts had predicted.

EBay’s core marketplace quarterly revenue declined for first quarterly decline since 2009. Gross merchandise volume for fell 2% to $20.1 billion. International volume, which was always touted as a huge growth opportunity for eBay, was down 4% in the quarter.

As expected, PayPal had a strong quarter in which payment volume rose 18% to $61 billion and the number of transactions grew 24% to over 1 billion. Mobile payments through PayPal are up 40% year-over-year and now represent 30% of all transactions.

PayPal isn’t immune from competition either, especially on mobile, with Apple Pay, fast growing payments unicorn Stripe, Google and others all vying to power payments for consumers. We’ll see how Wall Street values both PayPal and eBay in the coming months.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Companies

Facebook Is Totally Dominating on Mobile

Facebook Removes Feeling Fat
Bloomberg via Getty Images The Facebook Inc. logo is seen on an Apple Inc. iPhone in London, U.K., on May 14, 2012.

The number of mobile daily active users in the first quarter grew 31% year-over-year

Users increasingly using Facebook on their mobile devices helped to lift the company’s first-quarter revenue 42%, but even that fell short of Wall Street lofty expectations. Here are the key points from Wednesday’s earnings release.

What you need to know: Facebook posted first-quarter sales of $3.54 billion, up from $2.5 billion a year ago. Mobile ad sales again accounted for a large chunk of the social networking giant’s overall revenue as more people using mobile devices flocked to the service.

Despite that, Facebook’s profits dipped 20% to $512 million, or 18 cents per share. The company blamed the decline on a 83% increase in spending during the first quarter.

While most companies would be happy with 40% revenue growth, Facebook still managed to disappoint analysts who had predicted $3.56 billion in quarterly sales, according to Thomson Reuters. The company’s overall revenue growth is decelerating with growth in the previous quarter coming in at 49% and 59% in the quarter before that one.

Facebook shares dipped more than 2% in after-hours trading after rising slightly during the afternoon. The company’s stock has gained 8.5% on the year.

In a brief statement included with the earnings release, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called the company’s first quarter “a strong start to the year.”

The big number: Increasing mobile users has been driving Facebook’s rapid revenue growth over the past year, and the first quarter continued the trend with the number of mobile daily active users (DAUs) growing 31% year-over-year. Meanwhile, mobile monthly active users (MAUs) grew by 24% year-over-year.

That mobile user growth helped to lift mobile ad sales, which accounted for 73% of Facebook’s ad revenue in the first quarter. Mobile ad sales accounted for 59% of overall ad revenue during the same quarter last year and 69% during the preceding quarter.

Counting both mobile and web, DAUs increased 17% in the quarter while MAUs for the same overall category rose 13%.

What you might have missed: Facebook became the latest company to cite the strong U.S. dollar for having a negative impact on sales. If not for money lost from foreign exchange rates, Facebook’s revenue would have increased 49% in the first quarter, the company said.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Companies

McDonald’s Is Closing Hundreds of Stores This Year

Signs are posted on the exterior of a McDonald's restaurant on April 22, 2015 in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images Signs are posted on the exterior of a McDonald's restaurant on April 22, 2015 in San Francisco.

The fast food giant already closed 350 stores in early 2015

McDonald’s shuttered 350 poorly performing stores in Japan, the United States, and China the first three months of 2015 as part of its plan to boost its sagging profits.

Those previously unannounced closings, disclosed on a conference call with Wall Street analysts on Wednesday, are on top of the 350 shutterings the world’s largest restaurant chain had already targeted for the year. While those 700 store closings this year represent a fraction of the 32,500 or so restaurants worldwide, they show how aggressive McDonald’s is getting in pruning poorly attended locations that are dragging down its results.

Earlier on Wednesday, McDonald’s had reported an 11% decrease in revenue and a 30% drop in profit for the first three months of year, a continuation of its troubles in the last two years as it has struggled to compete with new U.S. competitors, a tough economy in Europe and a food safety scare in Asia.

McDonald’s CFO Kevin Ozan told analysts that the shuttered stores in China, where comparable sales fell 4.8% in the first quarter, had been underperforming for years. In Japan, where McDonald’s is still reeling from the food safety scare last summer, the stores closed stores were “heavy loss maker restaurants.” As for the U.S., comparable sales were down 2.3%, one of their biggest drop in years as chains like Chipotle ate into sales.

On May 4, the company will start detailing its turnaround strategy.

In the last few months, it has made a few moves that telegraph where it is heading, though it is pretty clear how the big the challenge will be for the Golden Arches.

For instance, earlier in April the company announced it is testing out a larger, pricier, third-of-a-pound burger for $5, two years after dropping the similar Angus burger line because they were too pricey for McDonald’s diners. Despite that earlier failure, new CEO Steve Easterbrook expressed confidence his customers would go for premium burgers.

“I often describe McDonald’s as possibly the most democratic — with a small ‘d’ — brand in the world,” he said. “And what customers love the world over, and none more so than here in the U.S., is how they can buy into aspirational quality products, but at a McDonald’s price.”

But he faces an uphill battle in winning over the millions of burger-eaters in the U.S. that have a dim view of McDonald’s offerings: Nation’s Restaurant News published a survey this month rating 111 limited-service chains on 10 attributes including food quality, and McDonald’s was ranked No. 110, ahead only of Chuck E. Cheese. In-N-Out Burger topped the list.

And he also has to get the thousands of franchisees, who own 80% of McDonald’s locations, on board as he works to transform the company, even as many are still smarting from his decision to raise wages at company-owned U.S. restaurants.

“When business is a little tough like it is at the moment in the U.S., with cash flows being challenged, yeah, frustrations do arise,” Easterbrook said.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

TIME Wireless

Everything to Know About Google’s New Wireless Service

Project Fi is cheaper and more flexible than most wireless plans

Google is already an Internet Service Provider and a pay-TV operator. Now it’s expanding to become a wireless carrier as well.

Google unveiled Wednesday a new cell phone service dubbed Project Fi, which offers the same basic functionality as traditional wireless carriers, such as voice, text and Internet access, at a lower price than many common plans.

Here’s a primer on everything you need to know about Google’s Project Fi:

What exactly does Project Fi offer?

Project Fi offers a basic cell phone plan that includes unlimited domestic talk and text and unlimited international texts for $20 per month. International calls will cost $.20 per minute. Subscribers can add a monthly allotment of 1GB of data for $10 month, and increase the allotment by $10 per gigabyte.

One thing that makes Fi different from many mainstream carriers is that any data a customer doesn’t use shows up as a credit on their next bill — each 100MB is worth $1. There are also no overage penalties, as extra data use is charged at the same rate as data that is part of the plan. And, in a nice plus for international travelers, mobile data costs the same $10/GB in more than 120 countries.

How will Project Fi differ from what traditional wireless carriers offer?

Google’s service will switch between different high-speed wireless networks operated by Sprint and T-Mobile, depending on which is stronger in a given area. In addition to regular cellular coverage, phones on Project Fi will switch to Wi-Fi networks when available to place calls and access the Internet without using up customers’ data plans.

Using Wi-Fi for voice service is becoming an increasingly popular strategy in the telco industry — Cablevision recently unveiled a cell phone service that is entirely reliant on Wi-Fi connections and costs $30 per month.

What do I need to get Project Fi?

Right now, you can only use Project Fi with a Nexus 6, Google’s flagship Android phone. The Nexus 6 costs $649 for the 32GB version. Unlike traditional carriers, Google isn’t offering a subsidy on the phone in exchange for a two-year contract commitment (Project Fi is contract-free).

However, customers can pay for the device over the course of two years if they pass a credit check. And if you already own a Nexus 6, it’ll work on Project Fi.

How is Google able to build the infrastructure to offer cell phone service?

Google isn’t building its own cell phone towers for Project Fi. Instead, it operates on networks already operated by Sprint and T-Mobile. The big wireless carriers already make lots of money by effectively renting access to their networks to smaller carriers, who then resell that service to consumers using different branding.

Google, of course, could be a much bigger long-term threat to the wireless industry than the typical small-scale operator. But Sprint has reserved the right to renegotiate its deal with Google if the search giant gains a large number of subscribers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Why would Google want to be a wireless carrier?

Google’s primary interest as a company is getting people on the Internet so that they can make Google searches and be served ads, which is how Google makes money. Developing new ways to make Internet access cheaper, faster or more reliable creates more opportunities for users to feed into Google’s core business.

Google likely doesn’t have aspirations to become the next AT&T or Comcast–those firms have incredibly high infrastructure costs and often contentious relationships with their customer base because of the high fees they charge. Rather, Google wants to tip the scales to force the giants in telecommunications to offer better service. This is already happening with Google Fiber, Google’s high-speed Internet service, which has prompted Time Warner Cable to boost Internet speeds for its own customers in places like Charlotte, N.C.

How will this affect the other carriers?

For now, any impact will be small, because Project Fi is only available on the Nexus 6. T-Mobile and Sprint will actually benefit financially because Google is paying them for their networks, and those companies will have the leverage to stamp out Google’s service if it develops in ways they don’t like. But in the long run, Google’s presence could force carriers to offer customers plans that are cheaper and more flexible. T-Mobile has already been filling this disruptive role in the telco industry through its aggressive Uncarrier plan.

Read next: This Is Facebook’s Latest Move to Take Over Your Phone

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