Hot Topic Reviews

Updated 17 October 2014
Updated 17 October 2014
275 Reviews
3.2
275 Reviews
Rating Trends

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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

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Fun and Fast Paced Career

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

    I have been working at Hot Topic full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The pro's working for Hot Topic are, the customers are amazing. People come into he store just because we have given them such good customer service. you create friend with customers and co-workers alike. Another pro is the company has great benefits for full-time employees.

    Cons

    The company has lost its focus on what its really about. having fun selling merchandise to our customers.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Columbus, OH (US)
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Columbus, OH (US)

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

    Pros

    awesome place to work for in the retail community.

    Cons

    low hours for employees and a lot to accomplish.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    develop and grow managers

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Keyholder

    • 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 full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great teams - most everyone wants to make work fun, while taking it seriously. The customers are so great, very accepting of everyone who works there, even if they don't have the same interests.

    Cons

    Sometimes have to start with a Seasonal status.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fun job. Low hours.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Hot Topic Sales Associate in Las Cruces, NM (US)
    Former Employee - Hot Topic Sales Associate in Las Cruces, NM (US)

    I worked at Hot Topic part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Enjoyed my co-workers and customers.
    Loved the products.
    40% employee discount.
    Can easily pick up hours from employees.

    Cons

    Not a lot of hours available.
    Schedule is different every week.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would like more structured schedules and better hours, but everything else was great. Definitely my favorite job.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great and challenging experience

    Current Employee - Part Time Assistant Manager
    Current Employee - Part Time Assistant Manager

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

    Pros

    Under the right management, they will help you achieve personal goals. Focused on internal promotion in positive circumstances. Grew within merchandising and always tried to keep up with trends. Benefits are flexible and are offered to the part time level as well.

    Cons

    Management positions are tight and sometimes a position will not be open for long periods of time. There are extremely high expectations on time management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better training guide for management. Give an incentive for people to actually get excited for special promotions.

  7.  

    Okay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Saint Petersburg, FL (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Saint Petersburg, FL (US)

    I worked at Hot Topic part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Laid back work environment. Good atmosphere.

    Cons

    Only offered a seasonal position, was promised a part time position.

    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Part time assistant manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Part Time Assistant Manager in San Jose, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Part Time Assistant Manager in San Jose, CA (US)

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

    Pros

    Atmosphere
    Culture
    Awesome Customers
    Coworkers
    Nerd alert :)
    Monthly bonuses
    Sweet discount

    Cons

    Workload can be extreme for everyone
    Not enough payroll to get all task done
    Lack of incentives other than monthly bonuses
    Communication can be unclear and lacking from DM
    A lot of external hiring and less hiring within, sometimes.
    Pay doesn't match workload

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Sales associate

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Lakewood, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Lakewood, CA (US)

    I worked at Hot Topic part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good music, cool people, somewhat decent dress code and product

    Cons

    Little hours, favoritism, incompetent co workers

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop hiring 15 year olds and hire people who actually work

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 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 (US)
    Current Employee - Keyholder in Hurst, TX (US)

    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
  11.  

    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

Hot Topic Photos

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

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