The Cannabis Job Seeker's Guide to Remote Interviewing
You did your research, your resume stood out from the pack, and your interview is just around the corner. The only problem? It’s remote.
For many of us, the new realities of remote interviewing can feel uncomfortable at best. And in the cannabis industry, where many roles don’t require day-to-day desk work, video conferencing technology isn’t always the norm. But don’t worry – we’re here to help you bring your A-Game with tips, tricks, and helpful hints for nailing your next interview and landing your cannabis dream job. Below, we’ll walk you through some of the most common candidate questions we hear regarding remote interviewing, and how to tackle them all.
REMOTE INTERVIEWING CHALLENGE #1
“I’m used to doing interviews in person, or at least over the phone, but remote video interviewing is new to me! How do I make sure nothing goes wrong when it’s time for my call?”
Tip #1: Check your surroundings.
During in-person interviews, you’re probably used to checking out your potential office space. In a remote video interview, your potential employer may be checking out yours! Here are a few ways to ensure your interview space will make the best impression.
Don’t sit in front of a window that can cast a shadow on your face, or create a glare. Check out your appearance in your webcam the day before at the same time as the interview to ensure your upper half is clearly visible.
Find a quiet space where you know there will be no interruptions. This includes telling roommates, significant others, family, and even pets (who will listen) to keep out of the way during your scheduled interview time.
If you have a landline or other devices that make noise in the room, silence them.
Are you a clutterbug or a “leave the dishes out ’til I get to them” kind of person? If so, make sure you clean up your space so your interviewer is focused on you and not your stuff.
Tip #2: Avoid any technical malfunctions.
It’s rare to be on a group video conference where at least one thing doesn’t go wrong. Minimize those chances for your 1:1 interview by testing out all of your equipment beforehand. Ensure your webcam is on and working, do the classic “testing…1,2,3” mic check, and utilize headphones if possible to reduce background noise.
Tip #3: Practice makes perfect.
Hopping into your designated video interview tool ahead of your interview is a great way to ensure that everything is connected and ready to go. This is especially true if you’re using a video tool for the first time. Test out the functionality, learn how to share your screen, and get a feel for where all the key feature buttons are. You can even set up a mock meeting with a friend or family member on the other end to get familiar with the platform.
REMOTE INTERVIEWING CHALLENGE #2
“MY BEST ASSET IS MY PERSONALITY! HOW DO I ENSURE I’M MAKING THE BEST IMPRESSION ON MY POTENTIAL EMPLOYER IF I CAN’T DO IT IN PERSON?”
Tip #1: Dress to impress.
Although a potential employer may only see your face and upper body, get fully dressed! It will get you mentally prepared, and it will be a big bonus if you unexpectedly need to get up to take care of an oblivious background guest or an errant alarm. And remember to wear shoes – it may sound silly, but a fully professional ensemble from head to toe will help your brain stay in interview mode. Most cannabis employers value candidates who balance their love for the plant with strong professionalism. Your first impression, even if it’s via video, will go a long way in setting you apart.
Tip #2: Look into the camera.
It’s easy to forget there’s a live person on the other side of the screen when you’re remote interviewing. Look right into your webcam when you’re answering or asking questions, and remember that the person interviewing you can always see where your eyes go – especially when you aren’t doing the talking. A helpful tip is to put a brightly colored sticky note right under your web cam so your eyes are trained on where to look. Stay focused, and stay connected.
Tip #3: Ask questions, and get curious.
Asking questions isn’t just a great way to show a potential employer that you’re highly engaged and serious about the opportunity. It’s also the number one way to ensure that the opportunity is truly a great fit for your unique career goals. Without the luxury of getting an in-person feel for the office vibe and your potential colleagues, direct questions are your best friend for determining a potential employer fit. Dig deep, and don’t hold back. From benefits, to culture, to work-life balance, your remote interview is your opportunity to get the clarity you need. Interviews are a two-way street, and a remote setting shouldn’t get in the way of your ability to make the best decision for you.
REMOTE INTERVIEWING CHALLENGE #3
“I’M GREAT AT WORKING A ROOM, BUT I’VE NEVER HAD TO PRESENT TO A VIDEO AUDIENCE BEFORE. HOW DO I ENSURE MY COMMUNICATION SKILLS TRANSLATE?”
Tip #1: Avoid Interrupting.
We don’t ever recommend interrupting during an interview, but it can be especially disastrous in a video setting. Lags in audio can cause serious confusion, and continuous breaks in conversation can prevent clear, positive communication. Remember to speak slowly, listen through to completion, and wait a few beats before answering questions or providing thoughtful feedback. It may even be a good idea to let your interviewer know ahead of time that you’ll plan on responding more slowly than normal to prevent any unintended interruption. If you’re interviewing for a customer-facing role like a budtender or a cannabis retail manager, showing that you’re a strong, patient listener is also a bonus!
Tip #2: Become a Presenting Pro.
For many jobs, including sales, marketing, and technical roles, presentations are a standard part of the interview process. If you’re planning to present any documents or media during your interview, understanding video conferencing functionality is especially important. Many video conferencing tools come with useful features like screen highlighters, white boards, and even “stadium seating” attendee viewing modes that let you scan the room for reactions while simultaneously presenting. The more familiar you are with using presentation mode, the more confident you’ll be when it’s time to present.
Tip #3: ALWAYS Remember the screen share!
We’ve all been there. You share your screen with someone, you forget it’s on, and everyone can see all of your busywork (or web surfing!) until someone mercifully reminds you that your screen share is still on. An interview is just about the worst time you can do this, so always be mindful of your screen sharing and remember that no matter how strong your urge to multitask may be, it can wait.
NOW GO GET ’EM!
At the end of the day, your potential employer wants to learn about you – whether that happens in person or over the phone. By following these guidelines for remote interviewing you can deliver the best possible first impression, but remember: you’ve got this. If you’re feeling ready to interview but still looking to find your cannabis dream job, visit us at Vangst.com. Search and apply for the top jobs in cannabis – all for free, and all on your terms.
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