When we move into the home stretch of the hiring process, it's natural to start regarding the job as a prize. We walk into a place where we want to work, and even the cubicles look cool. It's a dangerous mindset to slip into.

Take the boss. Maybe he's an egomaniac, a screamer, or an insecure incompetent.  When we're in the last round of interviews, we don't want to hear about it. But we should be considering the possibility. That's why I think Eve Tahmincioglu makes a great point on her blog, CareerDiva.net, when she says:

Maybe you thought your LinkedIn or Facebook contacts were just for helping you find a job. Those connections can also be used to check out bosses. Hiring managers are using these social media sources right now to check you out. Why not turn the tables on them?

Not only that, but why not ask around your network? Your contacts can clue you in about people as well as opportunities, and who knows the kind of reputation your prospective boss might have. The folks you meet during the interview process can offer hints, as well. 

If the employees seem lukewarm, or aren't enthusiastic when they talk about the supervisors you'll be reporting to, I'd take it as a bad sign.

Most importantly, if a worker actually tells you a boss is a jerk I would take that pretty seriously as well.

In other words, you have to maintain enough self-discipline to keep your mind open right up until you decide whether - or not - to take the job. Your boss is going to be an awfully important force in your life, and you need to weigh whether facing his flaws every day is going to be worth it.

-- Mark Feffer