The big mystery is how do you find out more about the prospective job/position to know if it is truly your "dream job." There's wonderful sites like glassdoor.com or vault.com but the bulk of your information should come straight from the interview and tour. The key is asking questions.
There's your typical ones:
... etc. etc.
But you really want to ask some tough, poignant ones that give you a clear idea of who and what your working for. Here's a few:
- Why are you hiring for this position?
- What are the biggest challenges I could face in this position?
- Amount of Travel? Method of travel?
- Do you allow a flexible work schedule?
- Do you allow working from Home?
- What is your philosophy on [insert career field]? Or what role does [insert career field] play in this company?
- What would be a typical workday or workweek?
- How would you determine this person to be successful in this job?
- How did the previous person do in this role? (if applicable)
- Who would be my supervisor?
- What would you say is your management style?
- What do you enjoy about working here?
- What is the mission statement or values of this company?
- What are the goals of the department/company?
- How would you describe the office culture around here?
- So when someone performs really well around here, how is that rewarded?
- Does the company offer any sort of reimbursement or support for training, seminars, or continuing education?
- Does the company have a discipline policy?
- What’s the policy on “company news” and communication to employees?
- Does the company host company-wide employee events?
- How do you feel about me qualifying for the position? Any areas I would need to improve?
- Can I get a tour of the facility?
- Would it be possible for me to be able to ask an employee a few questions?
Depending on the answers and your priority level of what's really important and what's not, you can make a determination if this job is right for you. Some interviewees neglect to ask questions because they feel the hiring manager will look down on them for "asking too many questions" or give the wrong impression. Ask yourself: Do you wan tot work for an employer who doesn't like applicants asking questions? I personally love it when applicants ask questions. It shows their prepared, interested, and engaged.
If you don't ask, you wont' know. The key to finding that dream job is aligning your needs with the needs of the position/company. So go out and find it. Give 'em a try.