Hot Topic Reviews

Updated October 22, 2014
Updated October 22, 2014
277 Reviews
3.2
277 Reviews
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Hot Topic CEO & Director Lisa Harper
Lisa Harper
124 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Almost no rules for dress code, you can be as different as you want to be (in 50 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 23 reviews)

  • Lack of hours for sales associates (in 18 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Manager

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

    I have been working at Hot Topic full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The work itself is not that difficult, the hours are pretty standard as well. It is an hourly position so if you have to work overtime, which is rare...you get paid for it.

    Cons

    Depending on your district manager, it may be difficult to get positive feed back. It's all about the numbers, and upper tier management will care little about you as an individual.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Understand that every market is different, and it is a good idea to let your managers run their stores. Changes for the sake of changes accomplish little, but is reasonable and measured changes can add a great deal to the stores overall presentation and sales performance.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Lasting Friendships, Impossible Goals

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Keyholder in Hurst, TX
    Current Employee - Keyholder in Hurst, TX

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

    Pros

    Because of the culture of this company, many like minded individuals are drawn to apply and ultimately stick around for a while. When I first started at the company I was 16 and looked up to my managers/co-workers as the coolest people ever. Now, at 22, many of those people have become some of my closest friends and I still use them as references.
    The employee discount is better than many other retails stores with the added benefit of "employee events" where you get a little extra off the top.
    Hot Topic provides lots of opportunities for employees that are concert goers to get reimbursed for their tickets if they provide a fashion report afterwards.
    Hot Topic also has a matching 401k plan, benefits for part-time asm and up.
    Has partnerships with Verizon and Dell to provide cheaper alternatives for employees needing technology.
    Has a tuition reimbursement program that basically creates a 1200 scholarship for you if you do well in school.

    Cons

    Being a top down kind of company means having to achieve some goals that are sometimes outrageous with the sole purpose of keeping management from earning their bonus.
    Because of the culture of this company some less than desirable people get attracted to it and end up royally screwing over everyone that works there. Theft issues often, harassment often, and so much DRAMA...but usually that is nipped in the bud relatively quickly by DM's or RM's.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    DM's and RM's need to be more transparent and helpful to those in lower management. One should not feel afraid to talk to their supervisors about internal conflicts, because that person may gossip about you. Management also needs to END the bully-out method! It is unprofessional and creates disgruntled employees, resolve conflict, do not ignore it.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Sales associate to Part Time Assistant Manager

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

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

    Pros

    Work with great people, works around my schedule

    Cons

    DM treats employees badly
    Upper management can be lazy, needs to take control of employees
    Way to much pressure on management from DM
    Upper management can't make up minds

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote within the company to loyal employees, don't put so much pressure on management, BE MOTIVATING

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    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 (less than an 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
  6.  

    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 (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
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    good retail starting point

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Full Time Assistant Manager in Columbia, SC
    Former Employee - Full Time Assistant Manager in Columbia, SC

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

    Pros

    -you can wear almost anything to work
    -they offer an excellent employee discount
    -the company tends to hire personality so most of your coworkers are awesome
    -they promote from within (I was promoted 3 times in 3 years)
    -the benefits are pretty great. managers get paid sick/vacation time and medical and dental insurance
    -working here will teach you confidence if nothing else

    Cons

    -the workload for managers extremely outweighs the pay
    -it is a corporation and they will take advantage of hard workers
    -there is a lack of appreciation/incentives but high sales and performance expectations
    -you will out grow your customer base
    -there is never enough payroll to get what's expected done
    -if you are not a salesman this job is not for you

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    a little appreciation goes a long way as does competitive pay
    stores need more payroll!!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    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 (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
  9. 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 (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
  10.  

    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 (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
  11.  

    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 (less than an 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

Hot Topic Photos

Entrance to a typical Hot Topic, this one in San Rafael, CA
Hot Topic HQ lobby
Halloween

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