Working at Hot Topic | Glassdoor

Hot Topic Overview

City of Industry, CA
5001 to 10000 employees
Company - Private
Department, Clothing, & Shoe Stores
Unknown / Non-Applicable
Hot Topic is a leading retailer of music and pop culture licensed apparel, accessories, and gifts for guys and girls. Founded in 1988 in a Southern California garage, Hot Topic has grown to over 650 stores in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, and employs over ... Read more

Hot Topic – Why Work For Us?

With over 650 stores in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, Hot Topic is one of the leading retailers in music and pop culture licensed apparel, accessories, and gifts for guys and girls.

Hot Topic is a family comprised of creative and talented individuals who are passionate about delivering the best retail experience and expert customer service. We succeed as a team by maintaining our respect for others, commitment to open communication, and our deep connection with our customers. 

Our Hot Topic family has grown to over 10,000 associates strong since our founding in 1988, and we are always searching for more people to join. With so many careers to pursue at Hot Topic, we invite you to browse our job listings to see what opportunities match your skills and interests.


Hot Topic Foundation

Founded in 2004 at the suggestion of a store associate, the Hot Topic Foundation funds music and arts programs across the country through 3 non-profit organizations: Little Kids Rock, Notes for Notes, and the Grammy Foundation. Over the last eleven years, the Foundation has contributed over $9.3 million in grants and raised over $880,000 using our store ‘Round-Up’ program. In 2014, we awarded over $500,000 to our 3 partner organizations. 


We believe the creative arts enrich lives. That’s why the Hot Topic Foundation exists – to inspire and encourage young people to express their individuality through music and the arts.

Store Round-Up Program

All transactions in Hot Topic stores and can be rounded up to the next dollar – the change will be donated to the Hot Topic Foundation.

Employee Program

All employees can opt to have tax deductible donations deducted from their paychecks to directly benefit the Hot Topic Foundation. 

Want to learn more? Visit

Hot Topic Foundation is administered by the California Community Foundation, a 501c3 public charity.

Hot Topic Reviews

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Hot Topic CEO Steve Vranes
Steve Vranes
71 Ratings
  • "Good Starter Job"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Cincinnati, OH
    Former Employee - Manager in Cincinnati, OH
    Neutral Outlook

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


    Good environment, good relationships with employees (there will always be drama, but it was minimal!), customers are fun!
    You can be yourself and work flexible hours. I worked there for over 5 years and loved almost every second of it, but eventually out grew the company.


    The higher up in the store chain you get, the less flexible the hours get, and your schedule becomes a slave to the whims of the gods of retail. If you have family commitments between Back to School and Inventory in January, don't expect to make them. The only holidays I saw my family on after I reached management were the ones where the mall was closed.
    Later on it seemed like higher management was just throwing everything at the wall to see what stuck due to how hard it is for retail stores based out of malls in the recent economy. When the credit card was introduced it was definitely a little smarmy to pitch them to college aged kids who you knew didn't know what they were getting into. I understand every company has to do what they need to do to get ahead when malls are struggling so badly, but it was a major con while working there.

    Advice to Management

    Invest more hours of available labor into the stores to help maintain visuals. No customer wants to shop at a store that always looks like a wreck due to the lack of available staff to maintain it.

    Be more quick to jump on hot licensing trends. Lead the way on trends, don't just follow whatever seems to be big on Tumblr at the moment.

See All 810 Reviews

Hot Topic Photos

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Hot Topic photo of: Hot Topic Managers Love Our Stuff!
Hot Topic photo of: Hot Topic HQ Halloween Party
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Hot Topic Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview





    Systems Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview


    The process took a week. I interviewed at Hot Topic (New York, NY).


    Recruiter found me on LinkedIn. Interview process consist of three phone interviews plus onsite interview. Each phone interview took about 30-45min. Onsite interview took about 1.5 hours. I was offered the job onsite.

    Interview Questions

See All 231 Interviews

Hot Topic Awards & Accolades

  • 100 Best Companies to Work For, Fortune, 2006
  • America's Best Employers, Forbes, 2015

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