Selling cannabis for recreational and medical purposes is a multi billion dollar business, which generates hefty tax income for the government each year. It won’t be banned again, it is here to stay for many years to come.
If you love marijuana, or perhaps are convinced about the healing properties of this special plant, you can now earn a decent full time income working in one of the dispensaries or stores where cannabis is sold to common people.
You typically won’t face any particularly difficult questions in your budtender interview. Just questions about your attitude to marijuana, favorite strains, customer service and some problems that may happen in a dispensary. But it is still not easy to get the job, because the popularity of cannabis is growing all the time, and many people will typically apply for every job opening in this field.
Let’s have a look at some questions you may face. I will try to help you find the right answers, and also give you some advice on how you can stand out and succeed.
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How would you describe your relationship to cannabis?
Try to stay rational and refer mostly to medical and recreational use. Perhaps you have your story, you sold the stuff on the street back in the day when it was forbidden. Or you even ended in jail for a year or two because they found you with a pocket full of hash.
You may have your episodes, but job interview is no place to narrate such stories. Simply say them that you have a positive relationship to cannabis, and believe in its healing properties. You experienced it yourself, first hand, and would love to share your experience with the customers.
What’s more, since marijuana interests you greatly, you tried different strains. You have the knowledge, and once a customer explains you their expectations, you have an ability to make an excellent recommendation.
How would you define an excellent customer service?
At the end of the day, a store selling cannabis is a business like any other retail store (well, at least somehow:)). If the customers aren’t happy with the behavior of the budtender, or with the quality of stuff they can get in the place, they will do their shopping and spend their hard earned money elsewhere, looking for an outstanding customer service.
Ensure the interviewers that you will approach your job responsibly. You will attend to the needs of your customers, and try your best to meet their expectations. You can describe an excellent service as the one when a customer feels welcome, attended to, and heard out, and their shopping experience motivates them to return to the store again, or even to recommend it to their peers.
Can you tell us more about your previous working experience?
They should get an impression that you have basic working habits, and won’t find it difficult to arrive to the shop at certain hour each day, and to adhere to regulations and rules. This may include receiving orders from suppliers, sampling stuff, categorizing cannabis, cleaning the store, etc, beside the main duty of presenting the stuff and selling it to people.
Basically any experience in sales, or customer service, or even in a bar, is a relevant experience. Ensure the interviewers that you know what it takes to have a job, and to deliver an excellent service.
And if you apply for your first job, ensure them that you read the job description carefully and are confident that you’ll handle all your duties. You have to believe in your skills before they can believe in them…
Which is your favorite strain and why?
I suggest you to talk about more strains, and different situations in which you enjoyed them. The store owner (or manager) should get an impression that you have a lot of experiences with different varieties of marijuana. Then you will find it easy to give advice to different customers, and first hand experience advice is always the best advice.
When you pick one favorite strain, for example the Golden Goat, Blue Dream, Red Carpet, or Pineapple Express, be sure to explain not only the common effects on one’s mind and body, but also the situations and medical or mental conditions in which it can be helpful for the seeker.
* Note: Describing characteristics of various strains of marijuana isn’t the purpose of this article. If you lack the information you should do your research before the interview, to have something you can impress your interviewer with.
Imagine that a customer who is apparently high (or drunk) comes to the dispensary. What will you do? Will you sell them any cannabis?
This is no job for picky people or snobs. Look, you’ll sell cannabis to people. And though most dispensaries are open only during the day, some of your customers will surely arrive to the store being high. That’s just a part of this world and you should count with meeting such people in your job.
Business is business, and if they do not disturb or threaten other customers, you should serve them as you’d serve anyone else. Ensure the interviewers that you expect to meet all kinds of customers in the dispensary, and will try your best to deliver an excellent customer service to everyone.
Are you aware of the regulations we have to adhere to in this industry?
Be honest. Maybe you are not aware, because you have never worked in a marijuana dispensary, and you didn’t run one either. But ensure them that you are willing to learn all the rules and regulations, and will respect them in work.
The key is to convince the owner of the place that they can trust you with their dispensary. Because they aren’t hiring you to babysit you in work forever. There will come a day when you will stay alone in the store, and will respond for all the reporting and for adherence to regulations.
Of course, if you did your homework and are aware of the regulations in this industry, you can point out one or two in your interview answer.
Special Tip: download all questions in a one page long PDF, and practice your interview answers anytime later:
How long do you want to have this job?
Maybe you plan to open your own dispensary, or want to earn a bit of cash and hit the road. As you can imagine though, you should not share such plans with your interviewers. Because hiring and training new employees takes time, and the last thing they want is repeating the same procedure again and again, every three months.
You can say that you prefer to live in a present moment (which is a good quality for someone selling marijuana, and a nice life philosophy as well), and hence you do not think much what will happen in a month, or in a year. Certainly you read the job description and like the idea of working in a marijuana dispensary, and that’s all you care about at the moment.
Another alternative is giving them a number, which should be at least a year. The key is to convince them that you do not consider quitting before you even started :).
A few other questions you may get in your budtender interview
- What motivates you the most in work?
- Why did you leave your last job? (You may get this one only when you had a job in the past)
- In your opinion, what will the future bring to the marijuana industry?
- How do you imagine a typical day in work in this marijuana dispensary?
- What is your desired salary?
- Tell us about your last customer service experience.
- Do you have any questions?
Try to make a good connection with your interviewer(s)
As I already mentioned, you will typically compete with many people for a job of a budtender. Most of you will have a similar background and experience (or no experience at all).
The things that decide the winner in similar job interview situations are your interview answers, and your ability to connect with the store owner on a rather personal level (or with anyone else who leads the interviews).
Try to be friendly and positive in both your appearance and language. Keep eye contact, and try to praise something that catches your eye in the dispensary. It can be anything from a great selection of strains and good vibe of the place, to good location and outstanding customer service (which you received while shopping at their place).
These little remarks and details can make a big difference at the end of the interviews, when they decide about the winners and losers. Keep them on your mind, and try your best. I wish you good luck! Matthew
May also interest you:
- How to overcome interview nerves – You can always smoke something before the start of your interview in a marijuana dispensary, but there are also other ways of calming your nerves. Learn more about them and do not let your anxiety to impact you negatively in an interview.
- Coffee shop interview questions.
- Retail interview – What are your strengths and weaknesses?