If you winced at the word, icebreaker then I don’t blame you. Get-to-know-you questions and games tend to feel cheesy. We’ve all been victim to a terribly trite icebreaker questions with coworkers that made us roll our eyes. I know I have.
However reluctantly, you may have realized that you need to break the ice at work. A new employee just joined your team, and you want to make sure they feel welcome. Or, you need to find a way to warm up a conference call between remote team members and ask some get-to-know-you icebreaker question for team-building.
20 ICEBREAKER QUESTIONS:
Among the hundreds of get-to-know-you questions our software has, here are some 20 best icebreaker questions that will help you team in a better way:
ICEBREAKER QUESTION 1: WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
By far, this question has prompted the most interesting responses for the companies we work with. Employees are always finding it hilarious to learn that their boss’ first job was as a pool boy, or find it fascinating that a coworker’s first job was working in her mom’s doctor’s office. While it’s an unassuming icebreaker question, the responses stand out.
ICEBREAKER QUESTION 2: HAVE YOU EVER MET ANYONE FAMOUS?
This question is a fun one, as it taps into the people that your coworkers admire. Folks bond over a mutual love for Jude Law, or have a laugh when a manager shares her story about meeting LeBron James at a gas station.
ICEBREAKER QUESTION 3: WHAT ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW?
People are always looking for something new to read- and so swapping book recommendations are a great way for people to know each other. Learning what others are reading also provides insights into coworkers’ interests.
ICEBREAKER QUESTION 4: IF YOU COULD PICK UP A NEW SKILL IN AN INSTANT WHAT WOULD IT BE?
With this question, you’ll learn how your coworkers want to grow or what they aspire to do. For instance, you might learn that a coworker would love to be able to pick up Italian instantly, or that your boss has always wanted to get good at woodworking.
ICEBREAKER QUESTION 5: WHO’S SOMEONE YOU REALLY ADMIRE?
Understanding who someone looks up to reveals a significant amount about a person’s influences, preferences, and outlook on life. This is a great question to ask to help get a sense of what and who a person values.
ICEBREAKER QUESTION 6: SEEN ANY GOOD MOVIES LATELY YOU’D RECOMMEND?
Perhaps you’ve asked this question before but don’t overlook it. Movies are a great shared conversation topic. It never fails to be one that people like to answer and like to see other people’s answers too. Often times, people will end up going to see the movies that are recommended and talking about it over lunch, etc.
ICEBREAKER QUESTION 7: GOT ANY FAVORITE QUOTES?
Personally, I’m a sucker for a good quote. I think it can provide a fascinating look at a person’s point-of-view. Asking about a person’s favorite quote is a great way to break the ice and get to know them better.
ICEBREAKER QUESTION 8: BEEN PLEASANTLY SURPRISED BY ANYTHING LATELY?
While this question may seem vague, the answers to this question are often a delight and intriguing to read. Someone might share an excellent customer service experience that surpassed their expectations or share a funny story about them liking squash soup despite their initial reservations. This is especially a great question to ask a group of folks who might know each other a little better already.
ICEBREAKER QUESTION 9: WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE BAND 10 YEARS AGO?
This question always elicits a chuckle or two. You’ll find out that you shared an embarrassing favorite band from years ago, and also find the generational difference between coworkers humorous as well.
ICEBREAKER QUESTION 10: WHAT’S YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY?
This is typically something that’s not shared even between close friends. So asking about it creates a special connection between folks. Hearing about an intimate, early part of someone’s life says a lot about who they are.
ICEBREAKER QUESTION 11: BEEN ANYWHERE RECENTLY FOR THE FIRST TIME?
Sharing a new, novel experience is a wonderful way to create a sense of connection between people. You’ll learn about a new restaurant, a fun out-of-the-city getaway, or a never-heard-about bookstore you might find interesting.
ICEBREAKER QUESTION 12: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE FAMILY TRADITION?
Cooking Korean dumplings together around the holidays is one of mine. When you ask this question, you get an inside look into your coworkers family’s heritage and the things that bring their family together.
ICEBREAKER QUESTION 13: WHO HAD THE MOST INFLUENCE ON YOU GROWING UP?
A mother, a sports hero, a grandparent, an elementary school teacher. This question is touching to hear the answer to. You’ll gain a sense of respect about who has shaped your coworkers.
ICEBREAKER QUESTION 14: WHAT WAS THE FIRST THING YOU BOUGHT WITH YOUR OWN MONEY?
This is another great icebreaker question that fosters a sense of nostalgia and provides insights into people’s interests in the past and what they valued when they were younger.
ICEBREAKER QUESTION 15: WHAT’S SOMETHING YOU WANT TO DO IN THE NEXT YEAR THAT YOU’VE NEVER DONE BEFORE?
I love asking this question instead of the stale, “Do you have any goals this year?” Rather, this is a great aspirational question that exposes people’s dreams and hopes they’d love to pursue.
ICEBREAKER QUESTION 16: SEEN ANYTHING LATELY THAT MADE YOU SMILE?
The answers from this question are often unexpectedly lovely. You’ll find yourself nodding your head as a coworker talks about his kids or about a beautiful tree she saw on her walk recently.
ICEBREAKER QUESTION 17: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PLACE YOU’VE EVER VISITED?
Responses to this are varied and fun you’ll actually find that some folks have the same “favorite place” in Spain that they’ve visited, or a place that happens to be just 20 minutes from where you live.
ICEBREAKER QUESTION 18: HAVE YOU HAD YOUR 15 MINUTES OF FAME YET?
This is a cheeky question that turns up a variety of answers and interpretations. You might be impressed with how a coworker was in the newspaper one time or get a good laugh about how they were on the evening news.
ICEBREAKER QUESTION 19: WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER HEARD?
I’m a big fan of this question, as you’re essentially asking a person about what wisdom they personally find most valuable. The best advice I’ve ever received, myself?
ICEBREAKER QUESTION 20: HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR EGGS?
Our customers who ask this question are always shocked by how popular the answers to it are. They discover that colleagues are immensely passionate about scrambled eggs or are sunny-side-up diehards. For more exciting blogs visit Time Logger.