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    Ask This When At a Job Interview
    Knowing which questions to ask during a job interview can often make the difference in whether you're successful. Ask the right questions, and you're likely to be remembered as an intelligent, engaged go-getter who seems tremendously interested in the job that's up for grabs. On the other hand, people who don't ask questions during interviews may appear as if they're just going through the motions. Put yourself in the position of an employer, and it's easy to see why asking questions during a job interview is a great way to land a job offer. Of course, other factors are just as important when interviewing for jobs. You should dress nicely and act respectfully, and always be more willing to listen than you are to interject. You must also be ready to answer various questions about your previous work experience. Just remember that applicants who are both prepared and engaged are more likely to win coveted positions.
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    What are some characteristics of your ideal candidate for the position?
    Knowing what the interviewer thinks of as an ideal candidate allows you to tailor your responses to focus on things that are most important to the interviewer. For example, if the ideal candidate is someone who is focused on results and not very chatty, you will know to keep your responses brief while moving the interview forward as much as possible. 
    What do you enjoy most about working here?
    Asking this question can give you a good idea of whether you'll have a good time working in this position. Really pay attention to how your prospective coworker or supervisor talks about the perks of employment. Also, take note if the person has a hard time coming up with good reasons to be there. Work isn't meant to be fun, but people are always better off when they're engaged in what they do each day.
    What have past employees done to succeed in this position?
    This is a great question to ask, because you force the interviewer to give you a quick rundown of how employees are viewed as "successful" at this company. Different employers manage success in different ways, and you'll benefit in the long run by knowing what your bosses would expect of you.
    How has this position evolved?
    If the position you're applying for has evolved significantly over time, then the position may offer lots of room for personal and career growth. If there hasn't been a lot of growth, then you shouldn't expect that to change if you get the job. Some people are OK with being in positions that don't allow for personal growth, but others really thrive on being to rise up through hard work.
    What is the top priority for this position in the next three months?
    If you get the position, the answer to this question will tell you what you need to be focusing on in order to be successful early. In addition, this answer can give you a clear picture of what your responsibilities will entail if you're hired. Hearing about specific tasks that would be assigned to you is always more useful than general discussions of what you might be doing.
    Are there opportunities for advancement?
    This is the best way to get an understanding of how far you might expect to move up in the company you're interviewing with. Opportunities for advancement also indicate a chance at a higher salary later on, which can be especially useful information if you're being offered less than you hoped. 
    How long has the company been in business?
    Getting a little bit of background on the company is a good way to show interest, as well as give you a bit of understanding about the company itself. 
    What is the office culture like?
    The purpose of an interview, for all parties involved, is to find out whether you'll be a good fit for the position. Getting a feel for office culture is an important part of knowing whether you'd be happy working there. Ask the interviewer what the office environment is like, and whether you can take a tour. During a tour, make a note of how employees are working and interacting. Is everything silent and business-like, or is everything more laid-back and causal? 
    What is the starting salary?
    Before finishing up the interview, check in to make sure everyone is on the same page as far as salary goes. If there will be a second interview, this question can be saved for later in the hiring process, but otherwise, make sure you bring up the question of salary before agreeing to take the job.