What was on your mind last year? If our stats are any indication, Career News readers were all about solving problems in 2019.
Our most-read Career News stories for the year included advice on avoiding and recovering from mistakes, both during job interviews and after hiring. We also saw a lot of traffic to posts about the tricky things interviewers do when they’re screening candidates, whether it’s asking really tough questions or leaving strategically placed trash in the interview room to see what happens. (Yes, really.)
Readers also wanted to know how to keep from choosing the wrong company during the interview process, how to forge better relationships with managers and how to break bad work habits. See if you recognize your situation in any of our most popular articles for 2019.
The 10 Most-Read Career News Stories of 2019
1. 7 Interview Mistakes That Are Costing You Job Offers
Almost everyone has had this problem at some point in their careers: lots of first interviews, no job offers. Sometimes, of course, it’s not your fault — budgets change, hiring managers decide to opt for internal candidates, or you just run into a stretch of bad luck. But sometimes, the problem is within your control. A little more interview prep, some tweaks to your presentation, or a change in mindset could help you get more — and better! — offers. Learn which interview mistakes might be costing you the job, in this Career News story.
- Read the Article: 7 Interview Mistakes That Are Costing You Job Offers
- Read More About Job Interviews: How to Prepare for an Interview
2. Struggling at Work? You’re Probably Dealing With One of These 10 Workplace Issues
Bad bosses. Office politics. No place to go without moving on. Some professional struggles come up again and again, no matter what you do for a living. But just because these problems are common, doesn’t mean that you have to accept them. Find out what’s going on and make a plan to change things for the better. If you’re unhappy with your job, it’s likely that these workplace issues are to blame.
- Read the Article: Struggling at Work? You’re Probably Dealing With One of These 10 Workplace Issues
- Read More About Work Problems: How to Solve Problems at Work Like a Psychologist
3. How to Answer 7 Tricky, But Common, Interview Questions
Forget math problems or questions about what kind of tree you’d be, if you were a tree. The toughest interview questions are pretty simple on the surface. But, when you dig into them, you discover that they’re a lot more complicated than you originally thought. (Don’t believe us? Try answering the old “what’s your greatest weakness” question in two minutes or less … without making yourself sound incompetent or narcissistic.) It’s in your best interest to learn and practice answering these tricky, common interview questions before your next job interview.
- Read the Article: How to Answer 7 Tricky, But Common, Interview Questions
- Read More About Interview Questions: 7 Interview Questions That Get at What Really Matters
4. How to Recover When You Make a Mistake at Work
John Wooden, a Hall of Fame NCAA basketball coach, once said, “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything.” But that might be small consolation if you’ve just realized you’ve made a major mistake at work. Your goal: focus on what comes next. The best way to recover is to view the experience as an opportunity to learn and grow — and then take these concrete steps toward recovering from your error.
- Read the Article: How to Recover When You Make a Mistake at Work
- Read More About Mistakes: Be Really Glad You Didn’t Make These 9 Work Mistakes
5. 7 Ways to Spot a Bad Company Culture During the Job Interview
Company culture is the personality of an organization. How comfortable you’ll feel in a new job depends on how well your personality fits with the company’s. This is tricky, because obviously organizations don’t want you to find out about the more difficult aspects of their culture during the hiring process. (“The good news is, there’s a foosball table and lots of free food. The bad news is, you’ll be working so much, foosball will have to count as exercise and the free food is the only thing you’ll ever have time to eat.”) But you can find out whether a company culture is a bad fit for you by paying attention to these red flags while you’re interviewing.
- Read the Article: 7 Ways to Spot a Bad Company Culture During the Job Interview
- Read More About Company Culture: 3 Ways to Tell If the Company Culture Is a Good Fit (Before You Take the Job)
6. 9 Interview Tricks (and How to Beat Them)
Ever heard of “The Wrapper Test?” It’s pretty simple — and pretty diabolical. It goes like this: before the interview starts, a hiring manager places a piece of trash in a highly visible spot on the floor. Then, they wait to see if you notice it and what you do next — pick it up and throw it away, ignore it, etc. The idea is that the test provides insight into your character: are you the kind of person who notices problems and fixes them, or do you ignore things that aren’t your responsibility? (Also, we suppose that it could indicate whether you’re someone who’s comfortable with a messy environment — something that might be bad news if you’d be working with neatniks in a shared workspace.) Read this Career News story and watch out for this and other interview tricks before your next job interview.
- Read the Article: 9 Interview Tricks (and How to Beat Them)
- Read More About Job Interviews: 9 Smart Things to Do Before Your Next Job Interview
7. 7 Tips to Find a New Job When You Already Have a Job
Perhaps you’ve heard the old adage, “It’s easier to find a job when you have a job.” And that may be true, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easier to look for a new job while you’re employed. For starters, you probably want to keep your job search a secret until you have another offer in hand. Then, of course, there’s the challenge of finding time to interview (without making up an implausible number of dentist appointments). Here’s how to find a new job when you already have a job — without jeopardizing your stability or sanity.
- Read the Article: 7 Tips to Find a New Job When You Already Have a Job
- Read More About Finding a Job: Beyond the Resume: 14 Strategies to Get Hired
8. How to Make Your Boss Love You
You’d don’t have to be BFFs with your boss, but you do need a good working relationship in order to succeed at your job. Why? Well, for one thing, you’ll be happier at work if there’s less friction between you and your manager. For another, you’ll be more likely to get quality feedback and be able to respond appropriately to what you hear. Even if your boss isn’t the easiest person to get along with, it pays to figure out how to garner their esteem. Even difficult bosses can be great allies if you know how to nurture the relationship. Here’s how to get your boss on your side, no matter what.
- Read the Article: How to Make Your Boss Love You
- Read More About Tough Bosses: Should You Work for a Jerk?
9. Have You Outgrown Your Job? 5 Signs It’s Time to Move On
The median tenure for employees is around four years. So, if you’ve been in the same job for a while and you’re starting to get itchy feet, you’re right on schedule. However, since too much job hopping can be detrimental to your career in the long-term, it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re really in need of a change before you take the leap. Sometimes, a bad day at work is just that: one bad day. Other times, it’s part of a pattern that’s telling you it’s time to go. Signs that it’s time to move on include a stagnant salary, lack of opportunities to learn in your current role and a feeling that work just isn’t fun anymore.
- Read the Article: Have You Outgrown Your Job? 5 Signs It’s Time to Move On
- Read More About Quitting Your Job: The Real Reason Why People Quit Their Jobs
10. How to Break These 6 Bad Work Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Career
Many bad work habits seem innocuous at first, but quickly snowball into real problems — and ones that could have a devasting impact on your career. For example, let’s say that you’ve gotten into the habit of venting with your coworkers about your working conditions. In the beginning, it might have seemed like you were just blowing off steam. Eventually, however, the negativity might become a pattern and start preventing you from finding real solutions to your problems. (Not to mention that it might get back to the boss and do serious damage to your reputation at work. Find out which bad habits are holding you back at work, in this Career News story.
- Read the Article: How to Break These 6 Bad Work Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Career
- Read More About Bad Habits: These 7 Small Bad Habits Are Having a Big Effect on Your Career
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Tell Us What You Think
Which of these Career News stories resonated with you this year? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.