[Old] Happiness Engineer trial FAQ


Q: How can I prepare for the trial before it starts?

A: If you’d like to build up your HTML/CSS skills and WordPress.com knowledge prior to officially beginning your trial, we have some suggestions below.

Free Code Camp is a great resource for improving your HTML/CSS chops.

You can create a free site on WordPress.com and then work through our startup tutorial.

After you’ve finished that, here’s a list of things you can work through to further increase your knowledge of WordPress.com features. You can use your project site as a test area, but please do not delete any of the content of the site.

  • how to set up different themes to look like their demo
  • different methods of posting, like post by email, or using a mobile device (smartphone/tablet)
  • adding audio (and playlists) and video
  • verifying your domain with other services such as Google Search Console, Pinterest, etc.
  • using Publicize to share new posts automatically to social media accounts

Posting to a test site regularly will be helpful as it fills up your test site with content. It can be as simple as posting an image every day through the mobile app on your phone. Play around with categories and tags. Then you’ll have sufficient content to work with when you need to test a question or problem a user asks you about.

Q: What is your advice for being successful during the trial?

A: Successful trials are communicative (via Slack and your Trial P2), they complete all assignments in a timely manner, they focus on accuracy, aren’t afraid to ask questions, and have a positive attitude!

Q. You said that trials take 15-20 hours per week. Is there a maximum number of hours?

A. Yes, the maximum of 20 hours is firm. This time parameter helps us to fairly evaluate everyone.

Q: I was offered a trial, but haven’t yet received a contract. What now?

A: We generally send contracts 2-3 weeks prior to the trial start date. If you haven’t received one yet and your trial start is less than two weeks out, please reach out in Slack or via email.

Q: I got emails from you about Zendesk and Google Calendar. Do I need to do anything?

A: You can disregard those emails for now. You will get more instructions on setting up your Zendesk account and adding hours to the calendar during training.

Q: What is a trial lead?

A: A trial lead is a member of the HappEx (Happiness Experience) team or a Happiness Engineer who will be evaluating your work during the trial and making a decision whether or not to move you forward to your HR chat, and hopefully, a job offer!

Q: What is a buddy?

A: A buddy is a full-time Happiness Engineer who will answer questions you might have and provide feedback during your trial.

Q: What is a P2?

A: P2 is the internal blog tool that we use to share updates across the entire company. We use P2s to preserve information, and we say “P2 or it didn’t happen” to remind folks not to let things get lost in the back scroll of Slack! Slack is great for immediate conversations, but for any discussion that has a decision or update attached to it, use P2 instead. You will have your own trial P2 that you will use throughout the trial.

Q: How often do trials invoice Automattic for their hours worked during trial?

A. You can invoice us monthly or at the end of the trial. Prior to your trial start, you will get more information about how to invoice us.

Q: If I work only a few days in the month, should I invoice for that separately or add it all to a single invoice?

A: You can include those days in the invoice for the rest of your trial.

Q: Can I use a different WordPress.com username for my trial?

A: Yes, you can. Please let us know as soon as possible so we can make all of the necessary updates.

Q: I can’t get my proxy to work!

A: If you’re having trouble with the proxy set up, please reach out to HR-Ops. You can reply to the email you received about the initial setup.


Q: My trial has begun and I can’t access one of the tools I need. What should I do?

A: Reach out to your trial lead, they will assist you in getting the access you require.

Q: Should I be using my trial channel or a DM to chat with my buddy?

A: We prefer that you communicate in your trial channel as much as possible, but we do understand that sometimes you prefer the privacy of a DM. Keep in mind your trial lead is evaluating you based on your communication skills (among other things!) so chatting in your trial channel will give them something to evaluate.

Q. I have feedback on the training tools. Where do I share that?

A. If you have feedback on any of the training, please reach out in the #training-happiness Slack channel, and a member of our training guild will look into it further.

Q. Do my calendar hours need to be updated to reflect the hours I actually worked?

A. You only need to update the hours if they changed dramatically. The calendar is more for planning purposes.

Q: What kind of work do I invoice you for?

A: Billable hours include time spent in training, interacting with Automatticians and users, updating your trial P2, or reading P2 posts or Field Guide pages related to your trial. If you have any questions about what is billable, reach out to us in Slack.

Q: What happens after the trial?

A: If your trial is a success, your trial lead will write up a summary of your trial after your final chat. They will send that to HR, who will ping you for a chat. Once you start full-time, you will be placed on the Onboarding team, where you will spend about 6 weeks getting up to speed on everything you need to know to be a Happiness Engineer. You will be assigned a division and team during the Onboarding period.

If you are a current or pending trial and have a question you think we should add, please reach out to your interviewer or trial lead in Slack!