The cannabis industry is growing fast. And that means there are many jobs to be had.
In fact, the legal cannabis industry in the United States has already created more than 211,000 full-time jobs across the country.
But it being such a new industry, in tandem with the nature of the product, there is some misunderstanding about how one should interview for a cannabis job.
As such, mistakes in interviewing for cannabis jobs have become pretty common place.
Yep. It turns out that selling weed in high school or college doesn’t exactly qualify you for a full-time gig in the cannabis industry.
Common Mistakes in Interviewing for Cannabis Jobs
If you’re considering applying for a job with a cannabis company, it’s important that you understand how much more competitive the industry is than it was in the past.
Yet, many candidates still don’t get this.
So just in case you’re thinking about interviewing for a cannabis job, we’ll take a look at three of the most common mistakes NOT to make – and what you should do instead.
1. Believing Your Love for Pot Will Land You the Job
Of course, having passion for the product will certainly help. Particularly if you’re planning to go into sales.
But the cannabis industry is no longer in its absolute infancy. And there are now plenty of people – CAPABLE people – who have the skill set required to fill open positions.
In other words, you can’t simply walk in and say, “Hey. I’ve never really worked in security before, but I’m hungry to get into the cannabis industry. So whadya say?” It might have worked five years ago, but it isn’t gonna fly today.
When going into an interview, be prepared to discuss the skills you have that make you uniquely qualified to work in the industry. And be willing to go beyond your job description.
There are still a lot of startups and new companies in the cannabis space that have flexibility. So if you’re someone who’s able to wear a lot of hats and remain enthusiastic, that could weigh pretty heavily.
It’s certainly going to carry more weight than simply expressing how much you love marijuana.
2. Assuming You Will Be Using the Product While at Work
“So, what’s your smoking policy?” Interestingly enough, CEOs of cannabis businesses are no strangers to this question during interviews.
The only thing that could make this question worse is if you added a “dude” to the end of it. So if you’re applying for a cannabis job, do NOT ask it.
When it comes to substance use – be it weed, alcohol, or any other mind-altering substance – the same rules apply in the cannabis industry as in any other. Employers expect their employees to have clear heads. So unless you need marijuana for medical reasons, don’t plan on smoking down all day.
But while you’re crossing that question off the list, there are others you might want to add.
In fact, since a slew of cannabis companies have complex business models, job coaches recommend that you come to the interview armed with questions. Intelligent questions.
For instance, ask the interviewer where in the supply chain the company is involved. (They may even be involved in multiple sides of it.) And given that the industry faces restrictions that others don’t, ask about their marketing strategies and what they’re doing to build brand awareness. Things like that.
Of course, the nature of your questions will depend to some extent on the position for which you’re applying. But any questions that demonstrate your curiosity while showcasing your skill set are going to be far more effective than asking about the smoking policy. Seriously.
3. Thinking Your Charm Is a Substitute for Being Prepared
Again, you’re interviewing for a job. And just as in any other industry, these are legitimate companies that are willing to pay you for services rendered.
Yet, a surprising number of candidates show up to cannabis company interviews late, unprepared, and even without a resumé. Rather than treating the interview with the seriousness it deserves, they act like they’re planning to chill out with Cheech and Chong.
If you have any inkling that you can swing in and dazzle the interviewer with just your smile and some knowledge of weed, you need to rethink that strategy. You’re not interviewing a new set of friends.
So along with the questions we mentioned above, be sure you have a resumé and a professional attitude.
Even if you don’t yet have much you can add to your resumé, remember that there is still flexibility in the industry. Showing that you’re eager to learn and capable of getting up to speed quickly will score you points.
Another thing that will score you points is keeping up with industry data. Research the status of legalization laws and regulations in your state. And avoid the words “pot” and “weed”.
Finally, attending trade shows and educational conferences is an effective way to show your genuine interest and commitment to learning. They’re also the perfect place to make contacts and network. The more good impressions you make, the better.
Get the Job You Deserve
That’s really it in a nutshell.
If you show up for the interview with a resumé, a professional attitude and pertinent questions, you’re much more likely to earn the position you seek.
But if you arrive to the interview wearing tie-dye, acting like a Deadhead stoner, and making the above mistakes in interviewing for cannabis jobs, you’re more likely to get a job flipping burgers. And even THAT’S a maybe.
Are you a cannabis business looking for great employees? It starts with building a great name for yourself. Contact us today to talk about your public relations and marketing needs. Then we’ll go from there.