Despite being illegal across the U.S. and world just a decade ago, the legal marijuana industry currently employees over 200,000 full-time workers in the United States alone – and that’s based on just a dozen states being legal. With this new market, you may find yourself seeking a marijuana-related job – or maybe, you’ve been seeking one and finally got that elusive interview scheduled!
With that in mind, you may be wondering: What are some of the top interview questions for cannabis job seekers? Understanding these and preparing for how to answer them will help you land the role you want in this hyper-growth industry.
Below are some of the most common questions you may be asked
Top Interview Questions to Be Prepare For:
Why do you want to work in the cannabis industry?
This is a common question, as potential employers want to know why it is you want to join the marijuana industry. Be sure to answer this openly and honestly. If you have a passion for the plant and have been a user for years, don’t be shy to state that. It’s a huge asset. If on the other hand, you’re simply looking to get into a growth industry, then make that clear.
The interview is a time for both parties to assess each other. Transparency is important to ensure a proper fit.
Why do you think you’re a good fit for this job?
An interviewee should expect this question to come regardless of the particular field they are applying for. Being able to articulate why it is you want the job, and why you want to work for this particular company, can make all the difference in who the company ultimately decides on.
It is important to do as much research on the position, the company and even the hiring managers as possible so you can provide clear examples of what makes you the right fit. With access to data now-a-days such as LinkedIn, company websites and social media, finding information that you can use is not difficult. For example:
- If you can find the interviewer’s social media profiles and see some picture of their past times that you may have in common, it’s a great way to build rapport.
- On a company’s website, you can learn the different products, services, history, board of directors, etc which can help you when speaking to your abilities
- Through LinkedIn you can find other employees at the company and connect with them. They may be willing to tell you some key information about the role and business and what the company is looking for
All this information can be instrumental in helping you explain how you can be a good fit and provide value to the business.
What is your experience with cannabis?
Many marijuana employers will want to know what your experience is with cannabis. Are you someone who never smokes and doesn’t understand the intricacies of the plant? Are you someone who is just seeking a job and happens to apply to one that’s marijuana-related? Or do you have an extensive background and history with cannabis that gives you a breadth of useful, relevant knowledge and a strong network of people? The answer to this common question can make a big difference.
Although many cannabis companies are looking for individuals that have strong cannabis knowledge, some larger corporations just need strong talent in many disciplines like legal, marketing, sales, and operations. Not having experience in cannabis does not necessarily exclude you from the conversation but may put you at a disadvantage. Be prepared to explain why your credentials elsewhere may outweigh your lack of knowledge about the industry.
It may be a good idea to look at an Online Cannabis certification program to help get you some industry experience to bridge the gap.
What experience do you have that’s relevant to this job?
Employers will likely want to know what relevant experience you have to the job at hand. Like we discussed above, there are so many positions now becoming available in the cannabis industry that there is probably some experience you bring to the table that would be relevant.
It’s ok if you’ve never had a marijuana-related job (everyone has to start somewhere): Simply figure out what the job responsibilities are beforehand and try and connect work that you’ve done in the past.
Has marijuana impacted your life? If so, how?
Many marijuana employers will ask personal questions in order to get a feel for who you are, your communication skills and so on. With this in mind, asking how marijuana has impacted your life is a common question.
This is your opportunity to show your communication and story telling abilities. No one wants to hear a list of facts. Weave together a strong story line that illustrates your strengths or capabilities from the experience you discuss. This will not only show the interviewer how well you can present yourself but also reiterate some of you skills that you want them remember .
Can you explain some of the differences between indicas and sativas?
This may seem like a relatively simple question to those who know about cannabis, but it’s a good way for employers to immediately figure out if the potential employee has basic knowledge of cannabis. Many cannabis businesses want employees that can hit the ground running and if they can avoid candidates with zero knowledge of the space they would.
Even if you have no industry knowledge, make sure you do your research on common information like understand the plant, indicas and sativa, how it grows, THC vs CBD, what products can be derived from cannabis, how the extraction process works, how to cultivate hemp, etc. The Joint Blog has an enormous amount of information so you can get everything you need just by spending a few hours reading our content.
Other, similar questions may include: What is CBD? What are terpenes? What is THC? Etc.
Can you tell me what you know about our company?
This relates back to the point. Many potential employers will want to see if you’ve done any research in regards to their company. It provides some insight around your work ethic and ability to be prepared. Although not knowing a lot about the company may not be a deal-breaker, being able to speak intelligently about their business will definitely put you a leg above those who don’t.
Other popular potential questions include:
Do you understand the responsibilities of the job?
This may seem like an obvious one, but employers want to know that you understand what it is you are applying for. The more detailed you can be when asked this question the better it demonstrates that you’ve done your homework and that you know the tasks involved. This is also great opportunity to ask questions back.
You should always have some questions back to the interviewer to show that you want to make sure you can be of value and that you have a complete understanding.Stating that you understand the job responsibilities to be X but that you would like further detail on how Y works and what you would be accountable is a great way to engage in dialog.
Have you worked in the cannabis industry before?
This is one you will almost surely be asked, but it’s not a trap – if the answer is no, say no. It’s unlikely to be a deal-breaker, especially if you have a good amount of knowledge around the plant. You potential employer wants to better understand how entrenched you may be in the industry, if you’ve worked for a potential competitor (which could be valuable) and what kinds of contacts you may have (also very valuable) that could help his business.
What attracts you to the cannabis industry?
Employers may want to know why you want to work with marijuana. Although many interviewees will try to come up with some existential or philosophical reason (like “I was made for this because…”), employers see right through that. Be honest and sincere in your answer. If you feel it’s a great way to grow your career because you see the growth of the industry, say it. If you have been fascinated by the medicinal properties of the plant and you want to be at the forefront of the legalization for the benefit of the masses, say that as well
Just be honest.
These are exciting times to be looking for a position in the cannabis field. But competition is heating up and businesses are looking for seasoned professionals in their respective fields to come into the industry while having a certain amount of industry knowledge. Being prepared and understanding how to set yourself apart is critical skill that will land you a lucrative position in this field.
Do you homework and at a minimum prepare to answer the above questions and you’ll be well on your way to success.