Hot Topic is the go-to place for music and fashion fans. As one of the few stores dedicated to selling music and pop-culture inspired clothing and accessories, the store is a favorite of those seeking edgy and alternative designs that feature bands, TV shows, and pop culture phenomena.
Hot Topic is a creative and dynamic place to work in, a space that declares: “everything is about the music.” Hot Topic is constantly hiring for full-time and part-time positions, so if you think you are the perfect candidate, read on for details on the Hot Topic application.
Employment at Hot Topic
Hot Topic is an American retail chain of stores that focus on clothing related to music and pop culture. Its support of music is so strong that 40% of its revenue come from sales of licensed band shirts, after negotiations between the company and music artists, movie studios, and graphic artists. On top of music, Hot Topic also supports TV shows like Doctor Who, Adventure Time, Regular Show, My Little Pony, Sons Of Anarchy, Resident Evil, and Invader Zim.
The retail chain carries clothes from Lip Service, Morbid Threads, Rude, Social Collision, Royal Bones, Tripp, Disney, Sanrio, DC Comics, WWE, Social Collision, Heartcore Clothing, Iron Fist, Nintendo, Nickelodeon, Harry Potter, Domo, Psychopathic Records, and Hopeless Records. Items include shirts, jeans, shoes, and accessories.
Hot Topic first opened in 1988, back when there weren’t any music-inspired accessories in malls for both men and women. After a few years, they added band shirts to their collection, making it an instant favorite among music fans. In that year, they sold 50 different band shirts, and added pop culture references such as Spongebob Squarepants and South Park to their collections.
Eventually, the brand began to expand, first with Torrid, a concept store that focuses on plus-size women, carrying Baby Phat,House of Dereon, Dickies, Z. Cavaricci, and Apple Bottoms in their 150 stores. It also opened Blackheart, a lingerie store for edgy women who like rock & roll.
In 2008, Hot Topic launched ShockHound, an online retailer and social networking music site that featured music downloads and interviews. Three years later, the site shut down and the content was transferred to the store’s official website.
Today, Hot Topic has over 600 stores in the US and Canada. Most stores are located in regional shopping malls. In 2006, Hot Topic ranked 53 on Fortune 500’s Top Companies to Work For list. Its headquarters are located in Industry, California.
Apply Online to Hot Topic
Apply on the careers page of their website. Once there, users may select the kind of job they’re looking for, the brand (Hot Topic, Torrid, or Blackheart), and the preferred location. Open positions will be listed and interested applicants may register to begin applying. A registration window will appear, with the option to log in if a profile exists. From there, you can submit your resume electronically.
If you are qualified, Hot Topic will contact you for an interview. In the meantime, it will be stored in the website where the recruiting team will review it against their open positions. Those who have uploaded their resumes may resubmit in case there are new openings on the website. Any changes, such as mailing address or contact number, may be adjusted in the profile.
Working at Hot Topic
Hot Topic prides itself on catering to underserved niche markets with unique fashion tastes. The brand credits its success to its creative, talented, and like-minded people. It describes its work environment as a hub for respect, open communication, and connection.
Hot Topic also provides equal employment opportunities regardless of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, and any other basis.
Since it is a retail chain that caters to the young and hip crowd, Hot Topic offers a casual work environment with a dress code “many can only dream about.” The brand is all about unique people who have a passion for music and customers, so working at Hot Topic means a fun atmosphere of challenges and opportunities for advancement. The company attributes its “extremely high loyalty rate” to open communication and a culture like no other, where everything is about the music.
Its motto of open communication means managers ask for associates’ feedback on products. In fact, many of the retail chain’s successful product ideas come from associates who inform the merchandising team. This even applies to its concert reimbursements – those who attend concerts are encouraged to file fashion reports detailing what the people wore.
Because of its close ties to music, Hot Topic also features the latest music in stores, distribution centers, and headquarters which energizes both associates and customers, and even inspires product ideas. This love for music forms a strong connection between the two.
Hot Topic believes in balance: the balance of work and fun!
Minimum Age for Employment at Hot Topic
The minimum age for a career at Hot Topic is 16. If you are aged 16 or above, have good knowledge of pop culture trends, and possess good customer service skills, click here to start applying.
Hours of Operation at Hot Topic
Standard hours are 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM from Mondays to Sundays and 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM on Sundays.
Available Hot Topic Career Opportunities
Hot Topic career opportunities suit all qualifications, and need little requirement. The company is frequently in need for full-time and part-time positions for entry-level work. For entry-level positions such as sales associates and cashiers, it is important to have a friendly attitude and extensive knowledge in pop culture references and underground fashion movements.
If you believe you have the perfect qualifications to be part of Hot Topic, you may download a online employment form here.
- Sales Associate
- Customer Service Representative
- Assistant Manager
- Store Manager
- Merchandise Planner
- Product Safety Administrator
- Internet Marketing Associate
- Business Analyst
- Help Desk Associate
- Project Manager
- Technical Designer
- Merchandise Clerical Worker
Aside from retail positions, job positions are open for corporate positions in IT, human resources, finance, distribution, merchandising, internet, marketing, real estate, and planning & allocation.
Working for Hot Topic is quite the experience as the store deals in edgy and esoteric clothing and accessories. Certainly unique and never dull, applying there opens a few more doors for you to check out. Apply to Citi Trends to sell urban clothing and fashion. Apply to Vans for equally modern and edgy shoe choices to bring your customers. Consider also applying to F.Y.E if you find yourself in tune with the modern movie, game, and music industry. There is nothing wrong with being modern, especially if you know how to sell it!
Hot Topic Job Descriptions
Sales Associate – sales associates stock shelves, assist customers, maintain store cleanliness, and assist in inventory. Since they will be dealing with guests directly, it is a must for Hot Topic sales associates to be friendly, approachable, and enthusiastic. They normally earn $7 to $10 an hour.
Cashier – cashiers ring up purchases and price items.
Manager – managers supervise associates, handle scheduling, monitor inventory, maintain sales, meet performance goals, and ensure customer satisfaction. Management applicants are required to hold at least a high school diploma and prior retail and management position. Hot Topic managers earn $28,000 to $56,000 per year.
Hot Topic Application and Interview Tips
The hiring process varies per position applied for. Applicants must begin by submitting their resume in person or searching for available jobs on their career page. For entry-level positions, Hot Topic hiring managers may interview applicants one-by-one or in groups. Because it is a retail chain focused on music and pop culture, the interview may be casual, and applicants will be asked to discuss their favorite bands, TV shows, movies, and games. This is done to ensure that applicants are knowledgeable with the brand to better assist customers.
Interviews will also focus on situations where applicants will discuss what they would do. Common interview questions are: “What is one thing we sell that you hate?”, “We sell a variety of merchandise here. What do you think you would be best at selling?”, and “If it was your first day working here and you could pick out anything in the store to wear, what would you choose?” Generally, the company will employ those who have genuine interest and knowledge in the brand.
For those applying for corporate or management positions, interviews may have to complete two to three interviews individually or a panel representing various departments in the management team. Questions for managerial positions will focus on job duties and responsibilities, and retail sales experience. Sample questions are: Can you add-on to sales naturally?”, “How do you handle customer objections?”, and “How important is product knowledge?”
During the interview, it is extremely important to highlight your interest and knowledge in music and pop culture because this will be a large selling point to your interviewer. Those who do not share similar interests may have difficulty adjusting to the store, and may have problems assisting customers who have specific requests.
Even if a chunk of your interview will consist of raving about your favorite bands, it is a good idea to remain polite and courteous. Answer questions by providing examples, instead of only saying ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ If you have prior sales experience, make sure to mention that whenever you are asked a relevant question. Maintain your posture and eye contact, and smile, and show your interviewer that you are serious about the job, and not just looking for a place to hang out listening to your favorite music.
If you are a fresh graduate, make them want to hire you by saying you are hardworking, service-oriented, and a team player. Your interviewer would also appreciate if you say you can work under pressure or with minimal supervision. Being enthusiastic during the interview will make your interviewer give you a job offer on the spot!
Benefits of Working at Hot Topic
Hot Topic employees enjoy competitive pay and a range of work benefits. Below are the benefits you may get once your interview is successful:
- Life insurance
- Medical coverage
- Dental coverage (preventative care, acute care, and orthodontia coverage)
- Vision coverage (annual eye exams and discounts on frames, lenses, and contact lenses)
- Hospital coverage
- Prescription drug coverage
- Long- and short-term disability coverage for spouses, qualified domestic partners, and dependent children
- Preventive care
- Urgent care
- Maternity care
- Mental health care
- Flexible account spending
- 401(k) retirement plan that can also be carried over from a previous employer
- Employee stock purchase plan
Aside from the standard benefits, below are some of the Hot Topic perks
- 40% discount on apparel and accessories
- 20% discount on music and video
- Personal and career enhancement programs
- Tuition reimbursement
- Concert reimbursement
- Bonuses based on employee performance
- Employee Assistance Program (confidential assistance for issues involving emotional well-being, financial, legal, addiction and recovery, education and more)
- Employees based in the Hot Topic headquarters have access to a cafe, a gym with fitness classes, new mothers room, and an onsite physician and chiropractor.