October 21, 2020

Landing a Product Manager Job Remotely

The first time I heard about RELEX was from a friend of mine, whom I’ve known for the past 13 years, and who had worked at RELEX for five years at that point. He told me about this company arousing my interest, but it was only after doing my own research that I became really intrigued. Specifically, what got my attention was that RELEX has been successful in the retail business for 15 years; the company is thorough when solving customers’ problems; and most importantly, the website passed on a warm and caring culture I wanted to be part of.

I read several stories about balancing professional and personal goals that made me feel like this company truly cares about its employees, and then through the tech blog series, I was also able to peek into the everyday life and the technological environment at RELEX. Even before joining RELEX, I knew that the company would help me develop my professional skills, and eventually, that was a big part of why I ended up applying for a Product Manager role.

Remote recruiting and onboarding

I was happy to get an invitation to an interview because, after all, I already felt that I would be a good match with RELEX and vice versa. When it became time to interview, my interview process consisted of three parts.

The first part was a casual video interview with the Head of Product Management and a recruiter. We discussed topics such as how the Product Management team works, its goals, and how I could help the team achieve these goals. The second video interview focused on technical skills with two Product Managers interviewing me. Even though I have former experience in product management, a multi-tenant micro-based system was new to me, so the interviewers guided me along by giving me insights into the software and how to upgrade my technical skills for the job.

After that came the final part of the interview process – the third video interview with the Chief Product Officer. I started to feel the pressure of potentially not getting the job after getting so far in the interview process, and I felt unsure about the objectives of this final interview. To get a better understanding of what was expected of me, I ended up contacting the hiring manager before my third interview, but he assured me there are no special preparations required. At the beginning of the interview I shared my thoughts about my uncertainties with the CPO, and he kindly went through his expectations for me. If I could give a tip to anyone else feeling uncertain of interviews, it is to be honest and open about your feelings – the interviewers want to help you succeed, not to push you down. To my pleasant surprise, I got a job offer the same day which I accepted immediately.

When I joined the Product Management team, there were already three colleagues waiting for me who surprised me by coming to the office for my first day (it was their first day in the office too after the remote work began). Despite all of the pandemic-related complications, it was so great to meet everyone in person (particularly at a safe distance).

To be honest, I had heard a lot about the great RELEX onboarding experience that included cool activities such as parties, social events, and live training with newbies from different parts of the world. With the current meeting restrictions in place though, I was concerned that I would be missing my opportunity to enjoy a full, RELEX onboarding experience. To my pleasant surprise though, I got to experience a different, but almost equally exciting version of onboarding. I was able to meet RELEXians virtually in small groups that did an awesome job of welcoming me to RELEX and helping me understand the different teams and departments of RELEX. I even had lunch with a small group of expats in a restaurant close by, and they welcomed me with open arms at a 1-meter distance.

Why should anyone join RELEX?

I would love to quote my dear colleague here: Every day is a new learning opportunity at RELEX.

I’ve learned that to be true during my first weeks. RELEX is constantly developing its products and its best practices, and it provides lots of exciting challenges and avenues for growth for its employees. Even in this tumultuous world climate we find ourselves in, I believe this was the right time for me to join the team.

For anyone thinking about joining RELEX, I’d like to say that you can make an actual difference here. Retail experts help you understand human dynamics; supply chain specialists teach you how to manage the resources to avoid waste; store planning people help you build the next Walmart; and most importantly, RELEXians help you find the right balance between work and life.

Habib works as a Product Manager focusing on problems and issues related to Store and Assortment on-premises and cloud-based solutions in the Helsinki office. He’s held roles in management and development, working previously as an entrepreneur and a Chief Technology Officer. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, watching TV, writing, and listening to audiobooks.

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