My Journey to Happiness – Part 1

I’m so excited to officially announce that I’m a Happiness Engineer at Automattic! I hope it’s not too late to share with you my journey to join Automattic.

Yeah, that’s me on Automattic’s About Us page.


I started this journey in July 2018 and I was rejected twice. I’m hired as a Happiness Engineer after my third application submission in October 2018. To learn about how I started applying with Automattic, see this post.

The Hiring Process

In case you’re not aware, the hiring process varies among the positions in Automattic. So the process that I’m sharing here is specifically for the Happiness Engineer post.

Basically, after you’ve submitted your application, you’re required to go through the application and resume screening, two assignments, two text-based interviews, and a 5-week trial in order to get hired. Some of the applicants were rejected in the early stages and some failed at the trial. No matter how it’s not the end of the world if you received the rejection note. The hiring team does encourage applicants who are having the potential of being a Happiness Engineer to re-apply in 6 to 12 months later.

In my case, I didn’t wait patiently for 6 months. I submitted three applications in a short span of 3 months.

The Prelude

I admitted I was desperate to get the job and I worked extremely hard to make sure that I was ready for the third application. So after I was rejected twice, I spent a lot of my spare time in volunteering in the forums and I worked through the list in this post to make sure I have what it takes to be a Happiness Engineer.

So in October 2018, I felt that I was ready. I prepared another cover letter, revamped my resume and submitted the application.

The Assignments and The Interviews

Approximately two weeks after I submitted my third application, I heard back from the hiring team with the first assignment (which I failed during my first application). It was a small project to set up a site by following the instructions in the email. I learned from the mistakes I did last time so I made sure I double-checked and triple-checked everything before I submitted it. One week after I submitted the first assignment, I had my first interview on Slack with the hiring team.

Tips for the first assignment:

  • Pay attention to the details on the instructions received
  • After you’ve completed the assignment, do not rush it in. Make sure you’ve got everything covered, even if it’s not mentioned in the email.
  • If you have doubts on any of the steps, check the support documentation. As a full-time Happiness Engineer, this is still our bible in supporting our users.
  • Note down the steps you did for the assignment, it might come in handy later. 😉

The interview (it’s a text-based chat) was scheduled at 9 pm but I was already sitting in front of my laptop, waiting for the first Slack ping from my interviewer at 8:30 pm.

At exactly 9 pm sharp, the interview started with an introduction on what to expect in the chat. It was an hour of chat, basically to get to know me as a person, my background, why I want to be a Happiness Engineer and how did I approach the assignment. During that hour, I had a terrible stomach due to nervousness. Luckily, I waited until the chat ended and rushed to the toilet right after that. 🤦‍♀️

Two days after the first interview, I received the second assignment which contains a list of sample support questions. The skills and experience that I gained when I was volunteering in the forums helped a lot in answering the questions in the assignment. So it’s a big plus if you spent time in the forums before you decided to apply.

The second interview (on Slack as well) was carried out in early of November. This time, I felt that the chat was less formal compared to the previous one. I had a feeling that I’m going to make it this time and it did!

During the chat, my interviewer discussed with me on some of the questions that I answered in the assignment. They also shared with me some tips on handling difficult support situations. And without realizing it, I received an email offering me the trial when we were still chatting!

I was given two trial start dates to choose from and I chose to start the trial ten days after the chat, which is on 12th November 2018.


Given I had only ten days to prepare myself for the trial, I re-read all the blog posts written by other Happiness Engineers on their trials and get myself ready for it. I knew that it was going to be very tough but I was willing to do anything to pass the trial. In my next post, I’ll share my experience in the trial and how did I approach it.

Interested? Apply now!

So, you’re interested to join Automattic in making the web a better place? Apply now as we’re always hiring!

Featured image by felipe lopez on Unsplash

7 thoughts on “My Journey to Happiness – Part 1

  1. Thank you for visiting JanBeek and leaving your “like” as a calling card. That let me find you. I loved reading about your application process and am anxious to learn more about your job as a Happiness Engineer. Did you see my A to Z series on “What Makes Me Happy?”

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