One of the most fatal missteps in a career is going to work for the wrong company; a company that doesn't provide reasonable prospects for stability, success and integrity. Too often people pursue an ad, a recruiter, or a referral from an acquaintance, without really knowing much about the prospective employer. Much may be learned by researching a company in advance via Hoover, Dunn and Bradstreet, stock research, if public, or maybe simply Googling the company for example.
It can also pay off to talk to a person knowledgeable about the industry to find out about the history and track record of the company, future plans, financial situation, compliance history, management stability, corporate culture and potential career growth opportunity. A knowledgeable, ethical and experienced recruiter is a good resource for insight into companies, not to mention respected
friends who have gone to work for companies you may be considering. If you can talk to the staff while interviewing you have another valuable window into your new professional home. You also need to ask good questions in an interview, which should be a two way street for exchange of information. If you do your homework, your chances of success increase tremendously.