Health insurance, paid holidays, half-price pot and the opportunity to spend every single day surrounded by top-shelf weed. Just a few of the perks and privileges that accompany a career as a budtender.

Unsurprisingly, the most appealing positions with leading dispensaries attract enormous attention. Even in smaller towns and cities across the U.S., you can expect heavy competition from other candidates. You’d be surprised how far some folks are willing to travel for a weed-related job they might actually enjoy.

As a result, it’s a good idea to ensure you’re well prepared. If you’re lucky enough to bag a budtender interview, you’ve passed the first test. But you still need to convince them you’re the right person for the job in a face-to-face interview.

During which, you can expect to be asked a whole bunch of weird and wonderful questions.

Of course, the exact questions you’ll be asked will differ from one establishment, interviewer, area and prospective position to the next. Nevertheless, you’ll almost certainly face most (or even all) of the following during your first budtender interview:

  1. What are the main duties and responsibilities of budtenders?

Right off the bat, they’ll want to check whether you know what’s expected of you. Or more importantly, whether you’ve even bothered to read the job description in the published ad. Under no circumstances should you turn up at an interview and expect them to give you a full rundown of the position. Research the role as heavily as you can ahead of time.

  1. What are the main differences between sativa and indica strains?

Every dispensary carries its own unique selection of strains, so you won’t be expected to provide a detailed description of each. Nevertheless, you’ll definitely be expected to concisely and clearly explain the differences between sativa and indica strains. They may also throw a couple of questions about cannabis ruderalis into the mix for good measure.

  1. When would you recommend autoflowering seeds to a home grower?

Assuming the dispensary also sells seeds…which many do…you may be expected to demonstrate at least a basic knowledge of the different types of seeds. Feminised seeds, autoflowering seeds, the benefits of seeds over clones and so on. Of course, none of this applies if the dispensary doesn’t sell seeds, but it’s worth finding out for sure before you head over.

  1. What are your favourite strains and why?

Rather than listing a dozen or so strains you’re fond of, focus on one or two strains you can justify your obsession with. Tell them about how you discovered it, what it is about it you enjoy and the circumstances/scenario in which it is most enjoyable. Essentially, pretend you’re selling the strain to the interviewer and convince them it’s awesome.

  1. What would you do if you saw a colleague getting high at work?

This can be a tricky one to handle, as you’re probably not yet aware of the establishment’s policies on cannabis consumption before and during work. Nevertheless, it’s best to assume it’s predominantly forbidden until you’re told otherwise. Feel free to make this a point of discussion – ask them where they stand on employees’ use of cannabis both before and during working hours. Just make sure you don’t give the impression that you intend to get blazed while on duty.

  1. Why do you want to join the marijuana industry?

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to go into huge detail here and start quoting all manner of facts and figures. Instead, you just need to communicate how passionate you are about the whole thing. Don’t make the mistake of over-complicating things – tell them the genuine reasons why you’re applying for the job…unless it’s simply to score discount weed.

  1. What are your long-term career objectives?

Dispensaries aren’t always exclusively on the lookout for recruits who intend to stay with them indefinitely. Nevertheless, it’s important to give the impression you’ve no intention of disappearing in the near-future at least. If your ultimate goal is to get licensed, get established and get into business for yourself, tell them. Ambition and enthusiasm go a long way in this line of work. If you’re planning to relocate within the next six months and simply need some cash to tide you over, put your creative storytelling skills to good use.

  1. How would you react if faced with a difficult or heavily intoxicated customer?

For obvious reasons, this is all part and parcel of the lifestyle of a budtender. Sooner or later – if not on a regular basis – you’ll find yourself faced with complete and utter a-holes out to spoil everyone’s day. As far as the interviewer is concerned, they simply want to know you won’t run away, cower behind the counter or get into a fistfight. Make it clear you’re capable of remaining cool, calm and professional in even the most difficult situations, with an example or two from your past.

  1. Can you tell me something you’ve recently learned about the legal pot industry?

Again, you won’t be expected to start reeling-off complex facts and figures just for the sake of it. Nevertheless, there’s a strong chance the interviewer will want to confirm you’re keeping up to date with the most important industry news. It shouldn’t be difficult – just think of a couple of recent news stories that grabbed your attention and explain why.

  1. How would you deal with a customer asking for medical advice?

Last but not least, recreational cannabis dispensaries have to be extremely careful when it comes to medical pot patients. Day after day, you’ll be dealing with people looking for strains to help with mild to moderate health issues. Muscle stiffness, trouble sleeping, headaches, poor appetite – often easy to combat with controlled cannabis intake. Nevertheless, it’s vital to ensure that as a budtender, you never give any advice that could be considered formal medical advice. Likewise, casually ‘prescribing’ pot for more serious health issues without the authorisation to do so could land you in a world of trouble.