Depending on what generation you come from, Hot Topic may be the coolest store in the world or something that has you shaking your head and muttering something about kids these days.
Personally, I’ve always loved the company brash style and alternative niche. Is my wardrobe filled with spiked bracelets and edgy t-shirts? No, not anymore, but I can still appreciate it.
If you enjoy the darker and more macabre elements of fashion, it’s time to rock and roll with a Hot Topic application.
This company is nothing if not unique and the people who work there are just as awesome. Let’s find out where they came from, who they are, and how you can start a career in this company today!
Why This Topic is so Hot as it Were (An Overview & Company History)
Hot Topic is an American retail chain that specializes in alternative-culture. This includes fashion items like clothing and accessories in addition to licensed music.
The vast majority of store locations can be found in shopping malls. The company began in 1998 and was founded by Orv Madden who was CEO of the company until 2000 and was superseded by Betsy McLaughlin.
The company went public in 1996 and began trading on the NASDAQ market. In 2006 it ranked number 53 on Fortune 500’s Top Companies to Work For. The company sold to a private equity firm in 2013 called Sycamore Partners for $600 million. Since the beginning of the company, there have been some other major milestones in their history worth noting:
- In 2001 Hot Topic created Torrid which is a clothing store for plus-size women. This branch carries brands like Silver Jeans, Vigoss, Dickies, and A. Cavaricci.
- In 2008 Hot topic created ShockHound, an online retail store and social networking site for music. There are music downloads available in addition to interviews and other types of exclusive features. The site was unfortunately shut down though in 2011. The original website for the company launched in 1997 and current provides shipping to 100 different countries.
- In August of 2010 the company opened its first international stores in Ontario and Toronto, Canada. Since this venture there have been additional Canadian stores opened and location in Puerto Rico.
- Hot topic launched Blackheart Lingerie in 2012 which was a concept store specializing in edgy clothing for women. The store dropped the second part of its name and now focuses on selling Blackheart brand dresses, shoes, and accessories in addition to their flagship items.
- Since opening, Hot Topic has sponsored a number of tours for famous rock, heavy metal, and alternative bands. In addition, the company started a foundation to help children and youth pursue their love of music and art. This foundation has since raised money for over 70 different organizations and donated over $4 million to them.
You will see plenty of brands on display throughout the t-shirt selection in the stores. Here are some examples:
- DC Comics
- Harry Potter
- Resident Evil
- Web Celebrities
- Hip-Hop Artists
The range of options is truly impressive when it comes to their selection. In essence, the company is promoting its items to various types of people under the age of 30 in most cases.
Let’s find out how you can apply and start a career with them.
Fashion is, by its very nature, a subjective profession. Everyone has their own version of it and everyone has an opinion.
No one is inherently right or wrong, it just matters how well you cater to your niche. Given that, consider trying out some other fashion companies as well, like PacSun for example. They are catering to a similar age group as Hot Topic, but their approach is more akin to the surfing and beach attending crowd.
A few more companies to try applying to for other takes on the fashion world are Aeropostale and Zumiez. Remember to choose companies that have a fashion you are passionate and knowledgeable about.
Hot Topic Application Online
When applying to Hot Topic, the first step is to understand the company’s culture and what they are looking for in their employees. Given the niche they are targeting, the stores constantly play loud and high-tempo music. You should be able to discuss current trends and music related news with customers who come in as well.
The company also sells items related to classic movies, videogames, and comic books. Being knowledgeable about these elements of pop culture or interested in them at the very least is huge in bolstering your chances of being hired and enjoying this career.
The minimum hiring age here is sixteen as well which means you can get your career started early.
When applying, there are options for both paper and online. You can find both at the careers page of the Hot Topic website. A link on the left side of the page entitled “job application” will take you to a PDF of the form that you can print and fill out. Applying online is possible through a simple search mechanism that allows you to pinpoint locations in your area.
The registration process starts with a questionnaire that allows the company to collect some basic information about you. This also includes a login and password creation to establish your account. This will allow you to return to check the status of your application and apply for additional positions if you so desire.
Tips When Applying
Articles like the one you’re currently reading provide a lot of insight into the company’s history and culture. Being immersed in these kinds of things is hugely important when you’re applying for a fashion company like Hot Topic.
Brand awareness and pop culture understanding is what separates a qualified candidate from an unqualified one.
There’s always a tangible benefit to be had from applying in the store or at least stopping in. Prior to, or directly after you apply, go into the location and do some shopping. Introduce yourself to the employees and the manager if they aren’t too busy and let him/her know you’ve applied or you would like to. This first impression is a major step in separating yourself from the competition.
Since you will be working with a younger crowd, it’s important to showcase professional skills and demeanor while also showing that you have a fun and outgoing personality that is sure to connect with Hot Topic customers.
Discussing comics books and rock music at other job interviews or meet and greets may seem unorthodox but for Hot Topic, this is key. For entry-level positions, consider applying for a sales associate to start.
In this position you will be performing customer service and sales consistently. Previous experience will come into play during the hiring process as a result.
Even if this is your first job, a great impression and personality will be the major players in getting you this position. Starting pay for an entry-level position like this is usually around $8.00 per hour.
With potential for upward career movement, a Hot Topic application is your ticket to an exciting career in a company that is always on the forefront of alternative fashion and music. There’s no better way to stay in the know if you ask me, so head online and apply today!