Automattically hired


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Over the past few weeks, I’ve been on the job hunt for remote positions mainly in development and customer technical support. I’ve made friends and professional contacts with a number of different companies and gone on a ton of coffee lunch meetings. In the end, I applied to a few different remote companies and completed a handful of projects and trials. I wanted to focus on companies that were distributed and didn’t have offices to go into. I really like the idea of being able to work from anywhere. I decided in the end that Automattic would be the best place for me and I’m pleased to announce that my first day was July 17, 2017. However, how did I get to this point?

The Hiring Process

I was fortunate enough to land a great job working at a creative branding agency in Brooklyn in 2016.  After a year of building and managing sites for some of New York’s largest non-profits, I was enjoying my job. However, I was the only technical role and that left me in a silo at times. I wanted to work somewhere where I could bounce ideas off of others and work with a team with more technical knowledge. The sites I built at this agency were built in WordPress and I was able to learn my way around PHP, HTML, CSS, and Javascript through my role. I learned I really liked helping people with their websites and I wanted to transition to a role that was more customer-facing. I applied to Automattic, the company that owns, and was lucky enough to hear back from them.

The hiring process was like no other hiring process I had done before. It was conducted primarily through email and slack. In fact, I didn’t hear anyone’s voice from Automattic until after I was hired. The initial application process consisted of sending in an application to Automattic. They replied back and we arranged for an interview, all through slack. The interview was just typing back and forth, but going through the usual interview questions. After the interview, I was offered a project. I completed the project and was offered a second interview, in slack again. This interview consisted of answering some more questions about the project and then offering me a trial employment opportunity.

The Trial

My trial started June 5, 2017, and lasted 3.5 weeks (I had to take a few days off at the end of the trial). I worked with customers answering their questions as if I was a real employee of Automattic. During my trial, I was assigned a trial buddy who I could ask questions to and a trial lead who I would check-in with weekly. At the end of my trial, I was referred to Matt, the creator, and CEO of About a week went by between my trial ending and my chat with Matt. The chat, like the interviews, was also conducted via Slack and was all typing. It makes sense that typing would be the format since working for a remote company involves far more typing than talking, but it was still an unusual experience. Matt was returning from Paris and on a slightly later schedule than the standard 9 to 5, so our Slack chat started a bit later and ended around 7pm.

Getting the Job

At the end of the Matt chat, I was offered the job and scheduled to start the following Monday, so my first day ended up being July 17th.  It was surreal to get this job. I was looking forward to working at Automattic, but I was also cautiously optimistic about my chances of passing the trial. I’d heard from other people and read other blogs about people who hadn’t passed the trial, and a friend of mine had even gone through the trial and not passed. I took that Friday to myself and then prepared over the weekend to start my new job full-time Monday.

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