Hot Topic Reviews

Updated 24 August 2014
Updated 24 August 2014
255 Reviews

3.4
255 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Hot Topic CEO & Director Lisa Harper
Lisa Harper
116 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.  

    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
  2.  

    A company invested in it's employees

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

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

    Pros

    Excellent benefits, incentives to go to college, additional awards, great environment, and bonuses.

    Cons

    Salary is low in most markets.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increase salary for members of management who are highly qualified.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    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 (US)
    Former Employee - Sales Associate and Key Holder in Nashua, NH (US)

    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
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  5.  

    Shady Manager

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

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

    Pros

    The job was pretty easy. The company is pretty laid back.

    Cons

    Manager was very unprofessional.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be upfront with your employees. Don't be shady.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Some good, some bad

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

    I worked at Hot Topic part-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Got along with most of my coworkers. Dress code allowed to be very creative.

    Cons

    Company sided with two horrible managers instead of protecting those who had been there between 5-10 years. Yes, YEARS. Employees were not given support when complaints about scheduling arose.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more democratic with helping employees who have been there quite a bit longer than the newer employees. Protect those who truly know what they're doing, as opposed to new people who really don't know what they're doing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Learned a lot since I started young and worked my way into store management, stiffed towards the end though

    • 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 5 years

    Pros

    In the beginning the pay was great, freedom to be and express yourself, laid back environment, fairly easy work

    Cons

    Company stopped giving raises, took away payroll and positions that were necessary to run a smoothly functioning operation, added more work onto less people. There were many nights when I worked all alone. Sales goals were very unrealistic at times, as well as a huge load of manual tasks when there were a lot of customers to be helped and cleaning to be done. I was diagnosed with a disease and DM offered VERY LITTLE support to help while I was hospitalized and then ultimately fired me after a few months saying I "wasn't doing my job". Merchandise got cheaper and less appealing over the years too. My DM had her favorites and sadly I wasn't one of them so unless I was getting critiqued or written up I rarely saw her.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat your employees like real people and have some compassion. District managers should be more hands-on and help ALL stores, not just their favorites.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Amazing places to work

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

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

    Pros

    No pressure, don't have to push credit cards. fast pace but relaxed

    Cons

    Lack of hours for sales associates

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    As fun as you make it.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Store Manager  in  New York, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Store Manager in New York, NY (US)

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

    Pros

    No dress code, great music, fun atmosphere. Made lifelong friends here.

    Cons

    There are great customers and very very uneducated awful customers...but that's at any job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Calm down.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Fun job, pay sucks

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Hot Topic Sales Associate  in  Whitehall, PA (US)
    Current Employee - Hot Topic Sales Associate in Whitehall, PA (US)

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

    Pros

    Amazing employee discount
    friendly coworkers
    very open dress code
    can look however you want

    Cons

    The pay is beyond terrible

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't pay new employees minimum wage. I have over 5 years of retail experience, I deserve more than 7.25 an hour

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Wonderful Experience!

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

    I worked at Hot Topic full-time

    Pros

    The team environment. Everyone working for the same goal across the entire company! Supportive HQ Team, Regional Directors, and District Managers. This company is filled with strong mentors that will help move you on your path!

    Cons

    Typical retail cons. Holidays are tough to spend time with family.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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