Hiring and Coaching a Virtual Team of Freelancers with Bill Watkins and Robert Mallon

Download Link

On this episode of Rhodes to Success, I interview Robert Mallon & Bill Watkins, who are the co-founders of the Rusty Lion Academy. Bill is a WestPoint graduate, army officer, and world-class athlete. Meanwhile, over the past 25-years, Robert has worked for several nationally known corporations as a leader and manager. During the show, Robert, Bill, and Jessica discuss training and developing virtual teams, how to have productive team meetings, leadership, on-boarding, and team building.


Main Questions Asked:

  • Talk about training and developing virtual teams.
  • What are examples of the behavioral questions you asked?
  • Talk about ‘Slack’ and how you’re using the platform in your team.
  • What are your tips for having productive team meetings?
  • What are your recommendations on motivating teams?
  • Talk about the difference between training somebody and coaching and motivating them.


Key Lessons Learned:

Interviewing & Core Competencies  

  • In any organization, the process is recruit, hire, develop, and retain.
  • When developing a team, go to the place where people with the expertise you are looking for hang out.
  • Determine what the core competencies you are looking for.
  • Behavioral competency questions identify skills and expertise.
  • Robert and Bill narrow down core competencies to 8 per role and give each a score of 1-5. At the end of the interview, calculations are made, and whoever scores the highest gets the job.


Behavioral Questions

  • An example of a behavioral question is, “Everybody breaks the rules sometimes. Tell me about a rule that you broke recently and the company you last worked with.”
  • Behavioral based interview questions are, “Tell me about a time when you ______.”
  • Make your interview questions open-ended and ask the interviewee to tell you a story.
  • It is encouraged to have two interviewers, as they will each interpret differently.
  • Robert and Bill developed value-based questions that unpack the interviewee’s values without them knowing.
  • It is critical to understand the ‘shared values’ that the company revolves around.



  • Slack is a tool to anchor your team in the identity of the organization.
  • Having multiple communication channels mean that getting clarity quickly can be problematic.
  • Use Slack for communication, values, vision, and what the team is doing on an ongoing basis.
  • Slack is an effective tool for 7-minute daily standup meetings saying what you will achieve in that day. E.g. Daily and weekly goals, how I’m contributing, issues, and share relevant revenue metrics.


Productive Team Meetings

  • Meetings allow team members to have input and ownership.
  • Plan weekly meetings but don’t make them hour-long.
  • Be respectful of people’s time and always end the meeting on time.
  • Robert & Bill use Trello and have a standard meeting with a to-be-discussed checklist. Any team member can add talking points to the list prior to the meeting.


On-Boarding Process & Motivation

  • Have an on-boarding checklist, information folder, and communication channel such as Slack so new team members feel important when they start working.
  • Map out your expectations for the team members and ensure they are trained so they can do the job.
  • Feedback and motivation are incorporating LBs & NTs, which are ‘liked best’ and ‘next times.’
  • Business owners need to set an example and not simply engage in a one-way conversation.


Training Vs. Coaching & Motivating                                                                           

  • After a team member has been in the company for a 90-day period, Robert and Bill ask the following questions:


1) What should we continue doing that you think is valuable?

2) What do you think we should stop doing and that you don’t think is valuable?

3) What should we start doing that you know is valuable?

4) Are you satisfied now that the honeymoon is over, that you said yes to us?


  • The above shows the person that you value their opinion as well as you’re not assuming that everything that is going on is the way it needs to be.
  • Allowing someone to work out a problem on their own makes them a better leader and own the process.


Subscribe to the show in iTunes or Stitcher Radio!


The music in today’s episode was written by The Danger Os and produced by Nick Palmer. Check them out at 


Links to Resources Mentioned

Rusty Lion Academy

Rusty Lion Academy (Free gifts)

Copy Blogger




EA Help

Fascination Advantage


Click to Tweet  

Are your team meetings productive? Find out how to nail it and keep everyone happy w/ @RustyLionAcadmy @JessRhodesBiz

How do behavioral interview questions identify the best employees? Find out w/ @RustyLionAcadmy @JessRhodesBiz

© 2022 by Interview Connections | All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy