Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Employment at Gamestop/EB Games

The car pulls into an available parking space, the engine shuts off, and everyone exits. You see the Sears name in the distance... maybe Dillard's or something, I don't know. As a matter of fact, it's been ages since I've seen a Dillard's. Are they even still around? Anyway, you have only 3 stores in mind that you want to spend your time in (not including the arcade) : the Candy store, KB Toyz or whatever they have, and Gamestop/EB Games. The hottest games, latest gaming consoles, cool accessories... they have it all! How cool would it be to work here? You get to play all the latest games before everyone, cool swag, and the best part... you're having fun while working there! Hell yeah! Are you hiring... how old do you have to be to work here... I own every console ever, can I get a job... -- those are the typical questions asked everyday as many dream about working at Gamestop/EB Games and all for different reasons.

Dreams are good to have or so I hear according to some specialist. Something about "consolidating what we learned while we were awake so we can remember facts and information for years to come" and some say its R.E.M. (no, not the band) Anyway, the actuality about working at game retailer is that it is a job. Yes, you read that correctly. You have to work! Many people, mostly youth misconstrue what employees do at Gamestop/EB Games. I would list the job descriptions here, but I'd rather you look it up for yourselves. Umm... nevermind. I just checked and there isn't anything listed for game advisors or keyholders, but I'm still not listing them, lol. I'll run through the basics 'eh: customer service (this means you have to talk to people and have what they call 'social skills', be able to read and know how to alphabetize (A, B, C...Z)
Alright, I sort of tapped into this in the last paragraph, but I'll elaborate a little more here. Retail Skills vs Game Hardware/Software Knowledge. Round 1: Fight! Do you think you really have to know what a Nintendo-360-Station-2 is in order to sell it? The answer is: no. All is required is knowing how to talk to people. "Outstanding! You're wanting a Nintendo-360-Station-2? That'll look great in your entertainment center! What is the first thing you plan to do when you get home?" -something like that. Notice that nothing was mentioned about how the games will look or anything like that? Would it have helped if they actually knew what they were talking about more? Let's not get into that right now... or ever. Maybe if I feel like writing another blog about this, then we'll see. Someone that is much more knowledgeable about gaming consoles and game software will make the customer feel more secure about dropping $400 on that new system that just another great retailer. What can you provide to the company? Hopefully it is both.

Okay, so you know that you want a job working game retail. Are there any long term goals or benefits you're trying to get out of this? Usually people want to work there because of the availability to play the latest titles and stuff. You know what? I'm going to end this here and go straight to the point.

You want a job at Gamestop/EB Games, but so does everyone else. You fill out the application, turn it in (like everyone else), and hope to receive a call soon. The truth is this. You're never going to get that call and here is why: that store more than likely already have a full staff. Just because you see some of the same guys all the time, doesn't mean that they're in need of help. They have part-timers that come in for a few hours here and there throughout the week, managers don't have time to go through all the applications that are submitted daily on top of the other duties they are responsible for. In other words, it is not a priority and will just sit in the drawer, desk, or get filed... along with the hundred other applications that were submitted that month. I mean, who just leaves an application in the hopes that we see something we like and can use? Want to know who? People that never get hired! You want a job, you got to be persistent with the Manager, be that loyal customer, and express exactly why you should be hired... and please do not say because you own every console, and play games all day, or something similar. EVERYONE SAYS THAT! Alright,not everyone, but about 94% of the applicants that I've interviewed. Don't get me wrong, that is great! It all falls in the needs of the store, what the manager is looking for (if they're looking), and you're desire to work. Let me say that again... WORK! The only drawback is that it is retail. Meaning when it comes down to it, it is all about numbers, sales, and revenue. Economics101 people. I'm done. Don't want to beat a dead horse, but I think I exceeded that.

So I've jibber jabbered about dreams, reality/actuality, retail experience and hardware/software knowledge, goals, and the application drop off thing. You want a tip? Never drop off an application and walk off. Ask to speak to the manager, tell them about yourself and why you want to work there. A resume' attached to the application is a bonus. You don't have to be dressed or anything. They aren't going to interview you on the spot, but first impression goes a long way, but you don't want to over do it. Jean and a polo will suffice for dropping off an application, but a 3 piece suit for a job at Gamestop/EB Games (especially for a game advisor position) is a bit much. You're not going to start off getting that desired hourly wage or hours requested per week. Working hours per week are set by corporate, and fluctuate from week to week given to each store, which gets distributed among the staff excluding the manager. So you'll have some weeks where you were given 4 hours and some where you were given 14 or so. If you can't handle starting off like that and working your way up, don't bother applying. This is not the job for you. You want to have fun and get to play games? Get a job as a tester (quality assurance) Other than that then keep your current day job, that is if you have one.

-Rodolfo Camarena

No comments: