NWB interviews are 3 questions. They are not self-promoting, or carefully selected quotes to make you sound good. They don’t offer any advice like “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than to beg for permission” crap, the likes of which should remain on Facebook. They are full of useful, actionable insights from experience, not egos.
If you like NWB’s style and have something useful to offer, we’d love to interview you. Tweet @nowankybollocks
The Interviewee is Katie Kelly, B2B Marketing Consultant and writer at NBW (previously Operations Director at PRWD).
1. Biggest Mistake you made in the last year & how you fixed it?
Hiring the wrong person
I was part of a small business where the team was friendly and caring. Any new person coming into the business was quickly integrated into the team. At the time I was the Marketing Manager but was also looking after our recruitment.
We were under pressure as we grew to find this specific role to join the business, but we only had a small number of candidates at the time and to top it off weren’t convinced the mixture of skills for the role and our business culture even existed. So we took a chance on someone who had passion and fit our culture.
Unfortunately (and the second mistake) we didn’t pick up on the fact we had the wrong person until way down the line. So in my first month of my new role as Operations Director it was my responsibility to review performance. It quickly became clear we had the wrong person.
It was the first and last time I settled when hiring and I’ll sure as hell not do it again. Not only was it an upsetting experience for all parties, it was a costly mistake to the business which also unsettled the rest of the team.
What I did to prevent making the same mistake again
Fingers burnt, I set about putting a few pieces of advice I was given into action. I updated the job advert and interview questions and tasks, to ensure the sales skills were key to passing the interview stage and we introduced more formal performance reviews during our probation period to ensure issues are picked up on sooner rather than later.
2. A lightbulb moment
I had done research, conducted surveys, read about the industry and thought I knew exactly what marketing messages would resonate with our target audience. Until I spent two months acting as our business development manager. We had been on the right tracks but it needed refinement . Speaking to prospects opened my eyes to what they are really looking for and what objections they have. The only way I could have got this was to see them and speak with them in person, not through online surveys or research. It wasn’t until I saw how they reacted to different things in meetings and the different inflexions they made on certain words that I really clicked.
3. Tip for tomorrow
Install Grammarly. It’s a free Chrome plugin which checks your spelling and grammar online. If you’re used to using Microsoft word you’ll notice the difference in what gets picked up (how bad was my writing before?!). It also has a lovely interface and has encouraged me to want to improve week-on-week with their beautiful and useful emails.