Hot Topic Reviews

Updated 27 August 2014
Updated 27 August 2014
256 Reviews

3.3
256 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.  

    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 (US)
    Former Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate in Broomfield, CO (US)

    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
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  5.  

    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
  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.  

    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
  8.  

    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
  9.  

    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
  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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