You may be sitting there right now wondering how I could possibly know anything about GameStop. I mean, I’m just a writer, right? Oh, dear reader, how wrong you are. I spent the last eight years of my life working for the company. For the last four years, I was a manager of some sort, with my tenure peeking out at Assistant Store Manager. I was selling copies of Grand Theft Auto IV when it was brand spankin’ new, so have a seat because it’s time for class.
I’ve seen about ten thousand GameStop applications in my time, and I’ve interviewed and hired my fair share of prospective hopefuls looking to work in a video game store. I mean, what could possibly be any better than selling video games? Not much really, that’s why I was there for so long. As you can see, I had other aspirations for the long term, but for the most part, selling video games is about as awesome as it sounds.
So now that I know, that you know, that I know what I’m talking about (still following?) we can talk about how to best start a career with GameStop. Don’t worry, if you can’t recall the title of a game based solely on the color of the main character’s hair like I can, you still just stand just as much of a chance. Even if you don’t pronounce Mario’s name correctly (it’s MAR-EO, not MARE-EO, OKAY?!) you can still work here, so let’s see what you need.
Why Work Here? I Mean, Besides the Whole Video Game Thing
Without going into a long and eloquent discussion of how video games are a form of art, something I have done on numerous occasions, there are definitely a lot of reasons to work for GameStop. Video games are obviously one of them but that’s if you like those kinds of things. If you hate games, and refuse to learn anything about them, well, this isn’t for you. If you have an interest though, or a rolling encyclopedia of gaming knowledge like I do, then you have what it takes.
So, after eight years working with GameStop, I’ve compiled here the three best reasons to consider a career with the company. These are my top three, there are more, but if you’re on the fence, this should give you the extra shove you need.
1. The Chance to Work With Something You Love (Or Something You Will Love)
I love video games. I just think as a storytelling medium, they are one of the greatest methods of conveying immersion, character, and intensity because unlike a movie or a book, you are in control. That simple fact makes them one of the greatest artistic endeavors of humanity’s short existence, in my humble opinion of course. You may not feel that strongly, or you might, but either way, that kind of passion is rewarded and encouraged in the culture of GameStop.
They want you to be passionate about what you sell, and they push you to learn more and build a knowledge base that you can pass on to the customers. Whether you love it like it’s your soul mate, or you just started dating, GameStop will make you love it even more. Once you’re in the thick of it, you’ll know what I mean.
2. The Bond Between Gamers
A big part of your job at GameStop is customer service, and that boils down to talking with people while you stand adjacent to a ten foot long wall of video games. It becomes a game of psychology as you chat with the customer, trying to get ideas from them about what they’re looking for. It may be someone looking for a game, console, or accessory for themselves, or it could be a gift for someone.
You’ll come across all kinds of people, and you’ll make a lot of friends, even if it’s only for a moment. There’s going to be those moments where you clutch your hair, widen your eyes and shout “YOU PLAYED THAT TOO? NO ONE HAS HEARD OF THAT GAME!” Right then and there, a bond forms that is stronger than steel. They may leave and you’ll never see them again, or you might get yourself a regular.
I think my favorite part of the job was when the customers I really loved talking to came in. The “Doug’s” and the “Mike’s” and so on, those were the people you loved to see because you knew the next five to fifteen minutes were going to be fantastic.
3. The People you Work With
I struggled to pick a single thing for this last reason. I thought about it for a while, and it finally came to me. My best friends are all people I met working there. The love of my life worked with me for about six months before she moved on to other things and I finally mustered up the courage to ask her out. Don’t look at me like that, I may be a suave writer, but I’m still an awkward nerd in real life.
Say what you will about the company, about retail, about all that stuff, but you can’t deny that some of the best human beings on this planet worked, work for, or will work for GameStop.
In my tenure I worked at several different stores, under multiple managers, and with tons of different people. Some of them I even trained myself, and I’ll tell you, these are the co-workers who will shed blood, sweat, and tears for you. These are good people, the best if you ask me. You think the bond I mentioned between you and the customer is intense?
That’s like a white dwarf compared to the supernova of a bond you will have with your co-workers at GameStop. When things are good, and when they’re bad, you can always count on your fellow workers, and friends, to have your back.
It’s hard to match the small, personalized feel of GameStop’s stores, but other competitors do have similar approaches and programs. Check out Best Buy for a larger scale version of what others are doing. Keep in mind other places like Radio Shack are great to work at as well. Finish up by applying to somewhere like Target where you can work in the electronics section for a similar feel.
GameStop Application Online
GameStop does indeed have an online jobs page where you can search for job postings. This simple setup does the trick by showing job openings which can be filtered by location. If you have previous retail experience, or you’ve worked with the company before, this is a great way to apply for management positions as those are mostly done through an online process and interviews with the District Manager of that area.
Throughout the normal course of the year, I would also recommend checking on here for entry-level positions which are listed as the job title of “Game Advisor”. Here’s something you won’t see on most job sites though: GameStop does a TON of hiring at the beginning of October each year. Why, you ask? Seasonal my friends, they need a lot of help for the last chunk of the year. Beyond things like Black Friday and Christmas, a lot of major video games release in October and November each year.
Seasonal positions run from October to February and while being hired doesn’t guarantee you a ton of hours, or employment past February, it does offer the opportunity for both those things. Case and point, I started out as a little seasonal guy helping out several times a week after school. When February came, they asked me to stay on as a part-time Game Advisor. From there, I rose to the rank of Assistant Store Manager and held that title at three different stores.
Seasonal is a great way to get your foot in the door. The easiest way to apply for one of these positions is to print out the GameStop printable application pdf which is linked in the previous words for your convenience. Print this out and bring it in with a resume and cover letter. Trust me, when I was looking for seasonal candidates, I always looked at the applications with resumes or cover letters first and those typically were the ones to be hired.
Ask for the manager on duty, introduce yourself, and turn it in with a dose of excitement. Don’t follow up every day or anything, but stop by every once and a while, maybe pick up a game or throw down a pre-order while you’re there. If you become someone the staff likes and enjoys talking to, you’ll be at the forefront of their minds when it comes time to hire seasonal help.
Knowing a few facts about a company can really impress your interviewer. I would know if someone could tell me about the company’s programs and what else GameStop sells beyond video games, I always made a note of that. Remember, anything you don’t know can be taught. Being a fun, nice person is the most important thing.
Still, I feel like really giving you some ammo, so be sure to mention some of these things when you turn in your GameStop job application, and during your interview:
- The company is headquartered in Grapevine, Texas.
- GameStop’s CEO is Paul Raines, who constantly featured on the in-store televisions.
- The company also owns Game Informer Magazine, Kongregate, Aio Wireless, and Simply Mac.
- They recently started selling used and refurbished Apple products.
- There’s a rewards card called Power Up Rewards, with a basic and PRO option.
- A huge focus of the company is on their used game trade-ins program and the sale of their pre-owned merchandise since these represent pure profit.
- All elements of the business connect in some way, a diagram that GameStop refers to as “the circle of life”.
- Tell them that Jennifer was the best host that GameStop TV ever had. If they’ve been around long enough, they’ll get it.
That’s all the time (and words) I have for today. Remember, seasonal is a great way into the company, and be sure to mention at least a few of those things I listed above. If you mention them all, well, they might just hire you on the spot.
Best of luck to you, and remember to have fun with it. It’s a job, sure, and it’s going to give you plenty of highs and lows, but always remember that you’re working in a video game store.