You need to consider what it is you really want in a place that you will spend most of your waking hours. I suggest the following are good considerations. Now, remember, what may be important to HP may not be important to you...these are just suggestions.
10. Does firm have the practice areas in which you are interested?
9. Is there an opportunity for someone at your level to gain training and experience in those areas?
8. Does firm promote "up from the ranks," or are most partners laterals?
7. Do you feel comfortable at the firm? If it feels stuffy and you feel uncomfortable, keep that in mind, assuming you have other choices.
6. When you visit the firm, are all the doors closed? Do people seem like they interact cordially with each other? Maybe you don't care, but HP does.
5. If you are a diverse candidate (woman, minority, gay/lesbian/transgender) does the firm appear to be a place that is supportive of all attorneys? I realize this is a tough one to decipher. No firm I know is going to admit to being anti-diversity of course. You need to do some digging check on numbers of women/minority/gay individuals who are partners, in management, etc.
4. Do you know anyone who has worked at this firm? Get their insights...even if they have sour grapes, hopefully they can provide some insights to the good and the bad.
3. Have you used your research tools? Check Google, Check Above the Law, do some sleuthing. Sure, no firm or organization will have a perfect record, but if there is a LOT of negative commenting out there, go in with your eyes open.
2. Will this firm or organization be a good platform for your next opportunity? Even if you think you will stay around, it is always good to be thinking about options down the road. Here, prestige does matter, to some degree. But don't be miserable for a few years just to have a name on your resume.
1. What is the A-hole factor? This is very important! If the people you've met seem like cocky a-holes, this is not a good sign, as firms usually send out interviewers who are "people persons" and reflect well on firm. If these people brag about the 2300 hours they billed, run...we all work but only tools brag about that. You do not want a firm with a high A-hole quotient. A simple, but important point.