You know that certain jobs in your company require workers with a passionate devotion to detail, and you do your best to hire people who will fit the bill. Trouble is, how can you judge whether an interviewee will exhibit the necessary zeal when actually on the job?

According to Ron Gregg, CEO of Outdoor Research Inc., in Seattle, the best way to figure it out is simply to listen. When Gregg, whose company makes expedition equipment, interviews job candidates and escorts them on a company tour, he pays careful attention to their offhand remarks and casual observations -- either about their past experiences or what they're seeing at his company.

"If someone is vague in a description of his or her past job, it's a tip-off," Gregg says. "We had to interview about a hundred people before we found our current production manager, who was the only candidate to remark on the stitching, fabrics used, and other details in our products.'