A trustworthy and dependable set of dispensary staff is crucial for the success of any business, and the cannabis industry is no exception. While your profitability can come from other aspects of your dispensary, like a time-saving dispensary POS or an awesome marketing strategy, your people are ultimately what will make or break your business.
How can you be sure that you’re hiring the right people for the job? Since they’re an integral part of your success, let’s take some time to uncover what makes a good budtender great and who you should shy away from. Here are 10 budtender interview questions you should ask before you offer the job to anyone who is looking at breaking into the marijuana industry.
1. Do you understand the main responsibility of a budtender?
It’s probably a safe guess that most of the people who walk into your dispensary are there to purchase a marijuana product. It’s not the kind of atmosphere where you are just window shopping, right? So while some budtenders might see each customer as an easy sale, it’s the truly exceptional ones who will go above and beyond.
Just a few simple questions can set a good budtender apart from a poor one. If they inquire about each customer’s needs in a genuine way, they’re a keeper. Instead of just waiting for their customer to say “Ok, I’m ready” after looking in silence for a few minutes, a valuable employee will engage them in friendly conversation, ask probing questions and provide a better customer experience.
Some budtenders just want to clock in and clock out, simply thinking it’s “cool” that they sell marijuana for a living. Just like in many other industries, you can tell when someone is there to collect a paycheck versus sincerely attempting to be an ambassador for your brand.
As you go through your hiring process, think about how this individual might see themselves as a larger part of the team. Do they embody your cannabis dispensary’s mission and vibe, or are they a lone wolf who won’t bring passion to the job?
2. What are the characteristics of indicas and sativas?
It might be near impossible to memorize all of the strains on the market right now, but a good budtender should know a lot about the more popular selections and be able to relay this information to you during an interview. If they stay up on the latest news and trends in the cannabis industry and can educate your customers while providing excellent service, you’ve found an awesome budtender, and you shouldn’t let them go!
3. Tell me a story about a strain you love.
Customers want to hear first-hand anecdotes about marijuana as it helps connect them to what a particular strain might do for them. Creating that confidence in a product is what helps to make a sale, and if a budtender can describe the possible experience properly, then they'd surely delight the customer and make a successful sale.
4. How would you react if you found out a coworker was stealing?
Theft is a concern in any industry, but needs to be carefully monitored in a dispensary. You need to know that your budtenders have your back if someone’s hands are in the jar or is caught hooking up friends with bud.
5. What’s appealing to you about the marijuana industry?
Believe it or not, some people just think it’s cool to work as a budtender. The loyalty and professionalism of your employees will be tested with this question, as you can get a sense of why they want to work for you.
6. Are you aware that this industry has strict regulations?
As the owner of a marijuana dispensary, you know how crucial it is to stay in compliance each day. Not only do you have to complete accurate reporting, but you have to follow strict state guidelines regarding customer information, purchasing limits, and package labeling.
You can’t work every single day, so at some point, you need to be able to trust your staff to manage the shop - will they uphold the same integrity and accuracy that you do when it comes to cannabis regulations? You can easily shape budtender interview questions around this topic when first meeting someone to see if they might be a budtender you can count on.
7. Where do you see yourself in five years?
While this obviously isn’t a marijuana industry specific question, it will give you an idea of how dedicated this individual is. If they want to be a budtender just to save money for school, you might have a totally different type of expectation than if they see themselves as the store manager.
8. What do you think is the hardest part about being a budtender?
You might get a variety of answers on this one and that’s ok. Some might reference having to deal with a difficult customer at a dispensary, while others who are really on top of their research might mention that staying within compliance is a huge task.
9. If you could change one thing about our dispensary, what would it be?
As the owner of a cannabis business, you should always be looking to improve things, whether it’s processes, products, or the customer experience. You want your employees to have that goal in mind too, so this question will show if they’re thinking like a team player.
10. What’s something cool you learned recently about the marijuana industry?
This industry is constantly changing, and your budtenders should be staying up to date. If they’ve never read a thing about new products or regulations, this question will make that very clear.
11. Do you have questions for me?
Again, we realize this isn’t industry specific, but it will tell you how much the interviewee wants the job. If they come prepared with a list of questions, you’ll know they could be a great candidate.
The bottom line: Your budtenders make the difference between just getting by and breaking even or becoming the most reputable establishment in the area. Use this list of budtender interview questions next time you're seeking a rock star to add to your retail team.
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