Hot Topic Reviews

Updated September 18, 2014
Updated September 18, 2014
262 Reviews
3.3
262 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Hot Topic CEO & Director Lisa Harper
Lisa Harper
119 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good employee discount, Somewhat flexible with schedule changes, dress code (in 45 reviews)

  • Freedom to be yourself, no dress code, decent music (at times) (in 18 reviews)


Cons
  • Upper management really has no clue what it is like day to day in an actual store (in 20 reviews)

  • Lack of hours for sales associates (in 17 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Pretty Good, Fun, Challenging, Prestigious.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate  in  Springdale, OH
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Springdale, OH

    I have been working at Hot Topic part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great for looking for a second job to fill in the gaps or give you a bit of extra money at the end of the month. Great experience for breaking out of your shell and talking to people. Great start for customer service, sales, and retail experience. You meet all kinds of different, great people. Always room for growth and climbing the ladder at a location or district. Very dedicated to the culture and sales. A lot of fun. Great discounts.

    Cons

    Management is very lacking. District management as well. Not a lot of accountability being taken for numbers/sales curves. Not a lot of hours, nor a livable income unless you are in a keyholder/management position.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Train your managers to be more competent and accountable for their actions. Hire less people, distribute hours more sensibly.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    ridiculous hours, pay, and treatment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Cashier  in  San Bernardino, CA
    Former Employee - Cashier in San Bernardino, CA

    I worked at Hot Topic part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    40% discount I never used

    Cons

    the loud music blasting all day
    (especially annoying when trying to talk to customers)
    the employees/manager
    horrible hours (I wasn't the only one who experienced this)
    horrible pay (I got paid a total of $220 for 4 weeks of work)
    It's really tiring and emotionally exhausting because customers are rude

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    be more fair with the hours
    turn the music down

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Got the job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate
    Current Employee - Sales Associate

    I have been working at Hot Topic part-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Was very easy when doing the group interview. Talked about my personal hobbies, my favorite bands, and my strengths and weaknesses.

    Cons

    There isnt really bad anything about because everyone is really nice and chill. You get to wear hatever you want. and also you get great discounts on the tee shirts and everything in the store

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Fun for a while, gets old fast.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Part-Time Assistant Manager  in  Medford, OR
    Current Employee - Part-Time Assistant Manager in Medford, OR

    I have been working at Hot Topic part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Fun and unique environment, generally a good team to work with as well. Store manager at the medford location is wonderful to work for.

    Cons

    No sales incentives, but all the pressure. Get sick of the kids that come in every day pretty quickly. Poor marketing and buyers. Very little room to move up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Throw them out. You lost the culture, not sure what you can do about it now.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Flexible scheduling, an awesome dress code, fun environment, but no job is 100% perfect.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Store Manager
    Former Employee - Store Manager

    I worked at Hot Topic full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I worked my way up from a seasonal sales associate all the way to store manager within a 2 1/2 year time frame. It is a very fun company to work for, the job is engaging, you get a dress code of dreams, and if you're ready to work hard and are smart, you will have a very bright future with the company. I was offered a higher volume store, but chose to leave the company for an office environment.

    Cons

    The pay is lacking for how much stress you have to put up with as a store manager (I am in a rural part of the country and was making about 30k/year). Rural stores and districts are expected to perform and have the same support that urban stores/districts have, but due to logistics this is simply just not the case. Due to this some members of corporate often jump to conclusions about things that are simply not true, and they would know of within 15 minutes if they took time to talk to their store managers and district managers about the daily life/time line of changes in a store over a short amount of time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your store managers more and offer more support to the more rural districts/stores.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Retail Mentality

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - IT Representative  in  City of Industry, CA
    Former Employee - IT Representative in City of Industry, CA

    I worked at Hot Topic full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    If a retail environment is what you are looking for then HT is great.

    Cons

    office culture, lack of promotion, management

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Fun work, but very confusing management.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate  in  San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate in San Diego, CA

    I worked at Hot Topic part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    dress code free, generous discount, listen to music while you work, easy work

    Cons

    pay isn't amazing, very limited hours, very high expectations, such as practically making you nag customers till they buy something or get so annoyed they leave

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Tell employees what you're looking for in order for them to advance, as well as let them now how they're doing. Seasonal employees may be selected for promotion to a regular sales associate, but have no idea how to do so

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Good for a season, terrible as a job.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate  in  Broomfield, CO
    Former Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate in Broomfield, CO

    I worked at Hot Topic part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    - Almost no rules for dress code, you can be as different as you want to be.
    - Good starter retail experience
    - Generally no unpleasant people come in
    - You are allowed to trial and error this job

    Cons

    - Your based on how much you buddy up with the management and employees
    - The music is pretty bad (opinion)
    - Management definitely picks favorites
    - Upper Management doesn't respect anyone
    - Pay is beyond terrible
    - Hours are beyond terrible
    - It's hard to receive directions, seems like something amiss all the time
    - Forced to push too many sales/questions upon customers
    - Very Lazy part-time/keyholders, I often found myself alone when the Assistant Manager and female Keyholder worked, I would rarely see them.
    - Lies about their employment promises, I was told it was performance based, not buddy to buddy based.
    - Manager tries directing the blame away from himself.
    - Selling overpriced merchandise
    - Selling greatly overpriced fake denim jeans
    - Coworkers who do not respect clean work ethic
    - You can move up to Store Manager if you wait a long time, but you will not move up at all. You'll remain part time here pretty much.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This is a company, this is a work place, hold your workers to higher standards, and respect those with clean work ethic. Also, remember, if someone is taking everything they can to get up, quit ignoring them and trying to cover your favorites. People need to be held to standards, not to idiocracy. I respect the store manager, but everyone else needs to tell me how to get their job, because they are undeserving in my opinion.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Great store bad pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate and Key Holder  in  Nashua, NH
    Former Employee - Sales Associate and Key Holder in Nashua, NH

    I worked at Hot Topic part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Awesome working environment. Great coworkers that I still stay in touch with. Laid back environment, except busy seasons. In store management was usually great and approachable. Great product, very versatile.

    Cons

    Some management is terrible. I have about 4/5 managers in my 3 years there and I had 1 who almost forced me to quit because of the way she was twisting situations and favoring other employees, when a different SM approached the district manager he brushed it under the rug and transferred me back to my original store instead of investigating.
    Pay is VERY lacking. After 3 years I was making only $0.25 over minimum wage. Even as a key holder I made less then I was making at a different store as a PT sales associate. After I left it seems like management took a steep turn downhill and I have not heard a single good thing about it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember that it's the customer who matters, and that the "little people" aka retail workers won't be able to truly help the customers if they feel handcuffed by corporate.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Very fun and casual listening to great music all day but low pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Hot Topic Keyholder
    Former Employee - Hot Topic Keyholder

    I worked at Hot Topic part-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    You can express yourself and wear whatever you want, listen to great music, paid for your concert tickets if you filled out a fashion report, great energetic and fun co workers. Worked there for 7 years and loved it until the end.

    Cons

    Very low pay that is impossible to live off of, right before I left shifts were cut down to 3 hour shifts which was ridiculous. As pay got lower and hours shorter, expectations grew from upper management that was impossible to do everything they wanted while trying to retain great customer service and maintain the store. Every now ans then you would get a bad customer/parent, but I worked in a bible belt town so it was expected.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    3 hour shifts is a waste of anyone's time, go back to 5 hour shifts and prioritize on what you expect from employees and the store

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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