Hi this is Robbie, and this is the process and the experience I had, when going through the Happiness Engineer interview with Automattic, the company that runs WordPress and WooCommerce and more. I hope that by watching my video and reading my article, it would help you with the interview process. If you are thinking of applying to be a Happiness Engineer.
What you need to know
Before I begin, here is a list of tutorials you can go through, before you even think about applying. It’s important to know everything below and you will be an awesome Happiness Engineer. All of the courses I suggest are from LinkedIn learning. I personally think this is an incredibly professional website to gain knowledge from.
Here are the various things I suggest you do:
- Free Customer Service course: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/customer-service-foundations-2018
- Free HTML 5 course: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/html-essential-training-4
- Complimentary CSS 3 course: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/css-essential-training-3/
- WordPress.org course: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/wordpress-5-essential-training
- Learn a bit about WordPress.com: https://wordpress.com/support/start/
- WooCommerce course: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/wordpress-ecommerce-woocommerce-4
- DNS Essentials course: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/managing-dns-essential-training
- SEO Fundamentals Course: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/seo-foundations/
- Create a WordPress.com account and contribute on their forum. This will give you an idea of what type of questions you would get asked if you got the Happiness Engineer job: https://wordpress.com/forums/ (Tip: contribute to the forum for a while before you apply. Then add that to your cover letter, so Automattic can see you are already contributing, which may give you the upper hand.)
- Tip: One more tip before we move on; Automattic is all about communication and someone who can communicate in written English is key, so bare that in mind when you apply for the position.
I know the above is a lot but if you want to succeed in this job, you must put in the time. Once you feel comfortable with the above, read on below…
When you decide to apply for the job, make sure you have a really good cover letter, that is very catchy and would capture the Automattic staff straight away. My cover letter was very honest and straight to the point. I started with my experience in WordPress and WooCommerce and let them know how long I have been in the industry for. Then I spoke about a few personal things such as having a wife and kids. I feel Automattic as a company values all people and invests a lot into who you are personally, which is an awesome part of the vision of the business.
When I applied for the Happiness Engineering job, Automattic got back to me very quickly. This surprised me as most people wait weeks before they hear back from Automattic because of the number of applications they get daily. Obviously, they liked what they saw. After they got my CV and cover letter, they decided to move me to the next step, a test. See some of my suggestions for you below:
From there I went into how much I enjoy helping people and my excitement in seeing people succeed. Just a heads up, this job is more about wanting to help people and communication than it is having technical knowledge of all the products. Remember, a Happiness Engineer is someone that makes people happy through customer support. So make sure you keep this in mind when writing your cover letter.
One last thing before you apply, Automattic values their creed a lot, so make sure you read through it and understand it when applying, add a few things from the creed into your cover letter, obviously what you are drawn too and in your own words of course.
The Happiness Engineer Test
Once my application was accepted, I was given a test to complete. The company gave me five days to build a website and answer a few example customer service questions. I was instructed to build a WordPress.com website using only the Twenty Twenty One WordPress theme. I had to refrain from using plugins or any other fancy features, All I had was the theme and an area to add custom CSS.
Before I continue – I am not going to give you a full run down of the test, because that would be cheating right? I am simply giving you an overall review of my experience so that you can be better prepared and understand what you can expect from the activity. So, upon designing my website, I had to add my own custom domain and complete some CSS to accomplish a few more tasks that were required of me. I personally didn’t find this test challenging as I am well-informed and knowledgeable with CSS and WordPress. The questions however were slightly more challenging as they made up the core part of the exam.
Once I had completed the exam, I was moved to the next round of the hiring process. This was a typing only interview using the application, Slack. It was a strange sensation having a solely text based interview – no voices, facial interaction or visuals of any kind. Simply the white screen of a computer screen. With this said however, when the interview started, I felt very comfortable, and felt like I was doing well.
I was asked various customer support questions. For example; ‘What do you do if a customer is angry, and you as the support agent are struggling to understand the customer in the first place. What would you do in that situation?’. This type of question caught me a little off guard as I wouldn’t even begin to imagine how to handle a scenario like that. Upon taking time to think out my answer, I wrote out my reply after some time. I remember thinking that it was all over for me at this stage – and so be it.
I got a friendly email from them informing me that I would not be moving onto the next round. But if I am honest, upon reflection I completely understand why. When it comes to a customer support job, you are required to think quickly on your feet. You are required to reply almost instantly to customers enquiring about issues and information. I feel I answered the interview questions fine, I just took too long to think and get back to the interviewer and that is where I think I came up short. So, I hope you can learn from this when you do your interview.
If I had moved passed the interview, I would have been in the final round of the interview process. This process is a 3-week paid trial, doing the actual job, with a mentor to help you through the process. Then after the 3 weeks, you would either be accepted or rejected from the position.
Last words about the Happiness Engineer interview
My interview with Automattic as a Happiness Engineer was very well done, even though I did not make it to the trial in the end. I learned a lot from the experience, and still believe Automattic is a great company to work for. I hope this article has helped you, and all the best.
Oh, one more thing – for more about other experiences as a Happiness Engineer, view this blog: https://happinessengineer.blog/