The quickest way to infuse passion and high performance into a company culture is to hire for it in the first place. But how do you hire for passion and performance?

Do you know anyone who’s so passionate about his work that he has a company logo tattooed somewhere on his body? This maybe an extreme example, but it happens.

Admittedly, certain companies involved in software, social media and video gaming are more likely to have young, cult-like followers. Red Hat, the open-source Linux technology company, and Razer, the gaming hardware developer, are two examples where both employees and customers get tattoos.

When people are truly passionate about their interests and values, they eagerly express it in many ways. Companies harness this passion by encouraging a “raving fan-like” attitude among employees and customers. This can happen only when leaders provide a platform for passion.

Zappos, the large online shoe store known for its customer service, hires talent whose personal values align with the company’s core values. The best candidates have a genuine interest in helping others.

It starts at the hiring process. How do you find people who believe in the same values you and your company represent? You probably won’t unearth them using boring, conventional interview questions. You need to do more than determine someone’s skills, education and experience. You must ascertain whether candidates are a cultural fit.

It’s hard to tell if a candidate is excited because she desperately wants a job vs. a job at your company. The best people to gauge true passion, interest and fit already work for you, so let them participate in candidate interviews. Future peers are likely to learn valuable information about potential new hires.

When it comes to interview questions, evaluate how candidates interact with prospective team members. How important is collaboration to them? Assess for curiosity in others, big-picture vs. little-picture vision, and outside interests and values.

What’s been your experience? Does your business hire for passion? I’d love to hear what you think. You can contact me here or on LinkedIn.