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4 questions that reveal a company's culture

Going to a job interview is all about impressing the hiring manager, right? Wrong. It's about finding the right fit. After all, a job interview isn't a beauty pageant where you parade around for a panel of judges. It's far more like a date, where you're trying to find out if you're compatible.

So while you're being peppered with questions, remember that you, too, can ask questions. But what to ask?

Tom Gimbel, president and CEO of LaSalle Network, a Chicago-based staffing firm, was gracious enough to come up with four key questions that you should ask in a job interview. He says will help you suss out a potential employer's culture and decide if the company is a place where you want to work.

1. Why is the position open? This answer will reveal if there is any negative association with the position's vacancy. If the role is open because the employee had to move for a spouse, that doesn't necessarily imply poor management; however, if the employee left because she wasn't happy or to work for a competitor, it can raise some red flags, especially if the hiring manager hesitates to explain why.

2. How do you measure success in the role? If a hiring manager only measures success with metrics, revenue might be the only thing the company cares about. If the hiring manager explains that they are looking for people who can execute and deliver on time, and communicate often and effectively, the company might care for how the employees reach their metrics, as opposed to just meeting them.

3. Is there communication with upper management? Accessibility to the executive leadership team shows the company cares about ongoing training and development of its staff and that their ideas, input and opinions matter. It's one thing when leaders of large companies try to meet with staff as often as their schedules allow, and another when leadership simply doesn't make the effort.

4. What's the company's average employee tenure, and how often are there promotions? If a candidate is looking for a position that offers long-term growth within an organization, this is a critical question. If there is a high turnover rate, that either means it's not a great place to work, or there is no room for growth.

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