Looking for that ideal job is tedious but if you look using the right criteria, that job will fall gently on your lap just like that.
Here are a couple I’m brainstorming right now that I’ll be using for that next gig.
#1. Type of projects they do. Do they build huge crud applications, or do they build apps that have a foot in mobile or tablets? What do I want to do? Do I want to be challenged and be on the cutting edge, or do I want to tighten up my software design skills? If it doesn’t seem like the projects they work on is fun then you’ll probably want to ask why?
#2. The employees who work there. It’s almost a definite to say that co-worker relationship is the #1 reason why someone would stay at a place (culture being #2). I don’t think you can generally know if you’ll get along with co-workers until you actually start working with them. I would definitely suggest a short-term employment contract to see the comfort level you can reach with everyone there.
#3. The relationships with seniors. Being an employee is like school. There’s always someone asking you to complete a task. Instead of getting grades, you get paid. When looking for a job, I’m looking to work for someone who’s like Mr. Tirone or Dyshoorn (my Drama and Physics teachers in HS). I have fun and am eager to be at work when people there are cool.
#4. The tools they use. Do they use Trello? Github? Do they perform tests? Scoring them using the Joel Test is a good start but don’t stop there. The tools they use tell a lot about the place. It could be a warning sign that the boss is a little too much of a micro-manager or it could mean there’s a lot of room for trial and error.
#5. Money. Probably the most important one because at the end of the day you need to eat,stay warm, be dry, clean and happy