Quote Originally Posted by wildcard_seven View Post
That's a super point about the "ask them" portion. I have to admit that I didn't get as much mileage out of that as I should have. Very good suggestions.
To go along with what anduril said, try to define the two or three qualities you care most about in a job, and really question the interviewers about whether the job is a fit for your qualities.

Sometimes I think you need to have a really bad job to appreciate the good ones. I was coming off a bad job, and I decided that the most important things were to find a job that was intellectually challenging and rewarding; the job I quit had neither, and I was absolutely miserable. When I interviewed, I asked every person to describe how their job had those two qualities. Of course those were my two qualities - you need to really reflect on what motivates you and pushes you to excel, and figure out what your qualities are. At the place I was hired at, every person I talked to had a good answer for those questions. That was the biggest factor in agreeing, and I've both done better and am happier at work than I've ever been.

Really, this helps in both ways. If the company is a poor fit, you can part ways sooner, and if it's a good fit, then it helps you during the interview because both you and the recruiters know that you have shared goals and values. They're more likely to consider you, and you are more likely to actually do well if you get the job.

And from experience - don't ever take a job you don't feel is a good fit. Even if you're hardworking and talented, you may do great at first but as the months and years go by, working a job you hate slowly saps away your energy and you end up on a long, downward spiral. No matter how much drive you start out with, it will wear you down day by day. All jobs have their ups and downs, but you need a job that, over time, gives you at least as much energy as it takes, or eventually you will run dry.