Boyo, I couldn't let this one pass... even though answering it may put me into the unpaid overtime category.
in reply to Interview Counterattack: "Show me a project-plan"
While everything you've said is apt and correct advice, I would argue that such environments -- especially the Fortune 500 ones -- are the places where there's the most opportunity for advancement, not to mention bonuses. My current employer displays many of the warning signs you decry as showstoppers, but it also rewards those who persevere and make a difference in spite of such "showstoppers". A compatriot of mine who's been here a few years just put down -- in cash -- more for a piece of property than I spent on my whole house.
This employer has grown from a $1000 investment to a sixty billion dollar per year megacorp in twenty five years, and, yes, much of that growth has been due to engineers performing over and above in a manner more reminiscent of a startup in a garage. In a way, it's a lot like animators and writers going to Hollywood: there's always somebody else who will gladly give a little more in order to be there. We're here by choice, and I won't deny that in another space and time I might make a different choice.
I agree that your questions are excellent and will elicit much good data, but my advice is that one should not consider these to be automatic showstoppers. I have in the past turned down rapidly growing and profitable companies because similar questions led me to label them burnout shops. I've also ignored warning signs and accepted positions I've later paid a price for. As the man said, "Ya pays yer money and takes yer chances, young fella."
"There's more than one level to any answer."