Baltimore Business Journal – by Mitch Halbrich

Date: Monday, August 1, 2011

When you are interviewing for a job, it is important to remember that just as the employer is evaluating you, you should be evaluating the employer.

After all, a job adds up to more than take-home pay and benefits. At best, it is challenging and fulfilling, offering you opportunities to excel and be recognized for contributions to your employer's success.

With this in mind, your objectives when interviewing for a job should be two-fold: one, convincing the interviewer that you are the right person for the job and, two, assessing whether the employer is right for you.

Here are some tips to help you do just that:

Identify your career goals.

The first step in finding the right employer is defining your professional goals. If you've never done this, you may find the process surprisingly revealing.

Ask yourself what you are hoping to achieve in both the short-term and long-term. For instance, you may want to be recognized as an expert in your field and make steady progress up the career ladder to a top executive position.

Perhaps you have an entrepreneurial spirit and want to start your own business someday, so you need a job that will allow you to practice and develop your business skills. Or you may be looking for a job that allows you to further your education or pursue other interests in your life.

Be as specific as possible, and write your goals down so you can refer to them when you are preparing for an interview or, further down the road, when you assess your career progress.

Define the criteria you will use to evaluate the employer.