The New Happiness Engineer Trial Process!

In the run-up to my trial, I read just about everything on this website. Now as an Automattician it’s incredibly exciting to be contributing my own story.

On New Year’s Eve, I submitted my application to become a Happiness Engineer at Automattic. Over the following three months, I completed a sample project, an interview over Slack, and answered sample support questions. Each stage of the process increased in detail and complexity and finally culminated in the trial.

Thanks to the content on this blog, I felt like I knew exactly what was to come. I was going to spend 20-40 hours a week doing the job of a Happiness Engineer, and I was going to be evaluated based on quality, quantity, and a variety of other metrics. Then a few days before I began the trial, I got an email informing me that the whole structure had changed and it was now going to be 20 hours a week over three weeks.

I had been quite excited for the opportunity to try and take on the task of the trial while working a full-time job, so I was almost disappointed at the news. In hindsight, it was a blessing. During my trial, I was swamped in my previous job, had severe technical difficulties, and moved to a new house.

This new trial format makes applying to work here a lot more accessible and means everyone going through the trial is doing the same amount of work in the same amount of time.

Each week of the trial focuses on something different: a week of training, a week of responding to tickets, and a week of live chat. Throughout the entire process, I had an extremely helpful trial buddy who answered my questions, reviewed my work, and conducted paired sessions with me. Throughout the process, I wrote internal blog posts reflecting on what I had accomplished that week which was an excellent opportunity to explain my thoughts and receive feedback.

Many people were involved in the trial, all in a group chat, and while I felt like I needed to prove myself, I sensed that everyone was rooting for me and wanted me to succeed. Since joining Automattic, it’s become apparent that this is just the way the company operates. A large group of like-minded people who want each other to be successful.

The trial allows you to prove your skills while helping real people with real problems and get a feel for what it’s like to be a Happiness Engineer. I helped customers customize their site using CSS, troubleshot technical issues, assisted with account problems, responded to general WordPress questions, and more.

I had never before gotten to the end of a job application with experience in the actual role I was interviewing for and a good sense of what the company is like to work for. By the time I received an offer to work at Automattic, I already felt some sense of place and knew how warm and welcoming my future team would be.

If you are thinking of applying to join us and feel at all apprehensive, just apply. You won’t regret it.

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