This post contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you make a purchase through these links.
What Are Ice Breaker Questions?
Benefits of Ice Breaker Questions?
Although some people find them to be a little corny, ice breaker questions for work are exceptionally great at getting people to relate to each other in a very short period of time. The primary benefits of using ice breakers include building community, initiating new interactions, and building empathy.
If you think about the best networkers or conversationalists, it is often not that they have the best things to say personally, but more than likely they ask the best questions. In reality, these people just have a really good arsenal of ice breakers in their networking war chest.
Once you build a good habit of warming up with good icebreaker questions, your team will expect them and look forward to participating in the next one! Nothing better than an engaged team!
Why Use Ice Breaker Questions for Work?
Have you ever found yourself sitting in a meeting with a new group of people and talking about a dead-end topic such as the weather? Being able to relate with your colleagues is critical for job performance and there are few better ways to learn about someone than a good old fashioned ice breaker.
Why are these better than discussions about the weather? Well, that is because something magical happens when people engage in discussions. These types of talks have resulted in feelings of empathy, inspiration to acquire a new skill, and most importantly build community cohesion.
100+ Ice Breaker Questions for Work
Here is a list of over one hundred ice break questions that can be used at any time. Ice breaker questions for work are amazing for getting people talking, sharing knowledge, and learning to collaborate together.
If you are doing ice breakers in person, then it is recommended that each person standup in front of the group during their answer to the question. If you are doing the ice breakers virtually, then the standup request can be easily replaced by at least turning on the video functionality.
Fun Ice Breaker Questions
Funny ice breakers are great for easing the tension in a room of people who are getting ready for an important meeting. One great benefit is that laughter from discussing these funny ice breakers will give your group something more to talk about during breaks.
These types of ice breakers help ease the pressure on the meeting host by letting the naturally funny people provide the meat of the discussion.
• What was the most fun thing you did last weekend?
• How much money would you give me right now if I asked?
• When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
• What movie could you watch over and over again?
• If you could have dinner with any CEO, who would you choose?
• If all the superheroes went to battle against each other, who do you think would win?
• What’s your favorite childhood board game?
• Do you ever think your parents gave you the wrong name?
• If you could travel time, which period of time would you go back to visit?
• If you could tour with any band, which band would you choose?
• If you could star in a movie with any famous actor/actress, who would you choose as your costar?
• What is your favorite TV series for binge watching?
• Pretend you are breaking up with yourself. How would you let yourself down easy?
• What is your favorite line from a poem or song?
• What’s the best vacation you have ever had?
• Would you rather go hang gliding or relax on the beach watching the hang gliders?
• Who is the fictional character that you have the most in common with?
• What is the best amusement park ride you have ever ridden?
• What 5 things do you wish you had if you were stranded on a deserted island?
Work Related Ice Breaker Questions
When using ice breakers, sometimes it is recommended to use them when they naturally flow into the main purpose of the meeting. For example, if you are leading a new hire orientation meeting, then you might ask, “What is one important skill you think everyone should have?”.
• What is one of your greatest achievements?
• If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be?
• What is one important skill that everyone should have?
• What class did you take in school that helps you with your job?
• Professional, casual or sweatpants? If there were no dress code, how would you dress for work?
• What is a unique skill you bring to your job?
• If you could have any job in the world, what would you do?
• What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
• What’s the most valuable thing you ever learned in school?
• If you could learn any skill, what would it be?
• You get to redecorate the conference room! What color do you paint these walls?
• What is one interesting fact about your high school or college?
• What would the world be like if we did not have airplanes?
• You just got done after a long day at work; what are you doing afterward to blow off some steam?
• If you could add anything to the office what would it be? This could be exciting, maybe it is a Keurig, nap room, standing desk, or vending machine.
• If you could start any business in the world, what would you start? Assuming money is not a problem; this could be in the restaurant, non-profit, manufacturing, or the next Amazon!
Ice Breaker Questions for Virtual Meetings
When hosting a virtual meeting, it can be very challenging to get engagement from everyone in the meeting. Prior to asking your ice breaker question, you should ask that everyone turn on their video so that everyone is able to develop a more direct connection with each person’s response.
The other benefit of requesting structured participation during meetings is it significantly increases the likelihood that you will get more robust participation in the non-icebreaker aspects of the meeting.
• What is your favorite professional buzzword and why?
• What is your favorite Zoom virtual background?
• What is your best idea for an invention?
• Are you a cat person or a dog person?
• What is your favorite dessert?
• If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
• How do you keep up with what is going on in the world?
• What is your best homemade dessert recipe?
• Who is the smartest person you know?
• Who is the most successful person you know?
• Who is your favorite standup comedian?
• What is one piece of technology that you cannot live without?
• What is a food dish you tried recently and were surprised that you like it?
Here’s another great set of ice breakers for virtual meetings:
Time Management Ice Breaker Questions
We all choose to spend our time differently, and how we spend our time says a lot about us. These time management ice breaker questions bring a magnifying glass into how we prioritize and management the activities that are most important to us.
• There is now 25 hours a day! How do you spend your extra hour?
• What would you do with your 15 minutes of fame?
• What do you hope to be doing 6 years from now?
• If you could take a year off from work, what would you do?
• Would you rather spend a year in the space station or live on a Navy ship?
• The power goes out when you are at home. How do you spend your time?
• Would you rather go back in time, or be transported to the future?
• What is your morning routine?
• What’s your favorite way to relax?
• What is one non-work-related goal that you would like to achieve in the next five years?
• Are you a morning person or evening person?
• What is your favorite vacation spot?
• Do you prefer a set schedule or a more whimsical laid out day?
Adult Ice Breaker Questions
These adult ice breaker questions are relaxed, fun, and simple. We kept these PG, but questions are geared more towards people who have been walking around on earth for more than a couple decades.
• What is one thing you are looking forward to doing when you retire?
• What is your biggest fear?
• Which bank holiday is your favorite? Why?
• Who was your favorite high school teacher?
• What was your favorite childhood bedtime story that you can still quote?
• If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would buy?
• If you could have any famous artist, dead or alive, create a work of art just for you, who would it be?
• What is your least favorite fashion trend that you are opting out for this season?
• Do you prefer streaming services (e.g., Netflix) or cable tv?
• How old were you when you had the most fun of your life?
• If you could go back and do your college years over, what would you do differently?
• What is an interesting fact about you that nobody in this room knows?
• Where were you born? What is an interesting fact about your hometown?
Ice Breaker Questions for Small Groups
Generally, ice breaker questions for small groups should be something a little more intimate in comparison to a large group. With a smaller group, generally there is more time for follow on questions that allow the group to dive a little deeper with each question.
• If you had a million dollars that you had to donate to charity, which charity would you give it to?
• Science fiction. Love it or hate it?
• If you could only pick three foods to eat for a month, which foods would you choose?
• If you could be reincarnated as any fish, what fish would you be?
• If you could take 3 months to travel anywhere, where would you go?
• What is the best book you have read in the past two years? Why?
• What was your favorite childhood cartoon?
• The best restaurant ever. What are you ordering?
• What is the most thoughtful gift that you have ever received?
• What is the quality that people admire most about you?
• What is the bravest thing you have ever done?
• What is one of your first childhood memories?
• Who was one of your childhood role models?
• What are three positive words that people often use to describe you?
• What is a slogan that describes you or your values?
• Two truths and a lie
Sports Ice Breaker Questions
Well, not everyone watches sports, but most people do in some capacity. These questions are great if you already know your group likes to watch and/or play sports.
• On a company field day, what is the event that you would most likely win?
• If you could compete in any Olympic sport, which would it be?
• If you could be any superhero, who would you be?
• If you could be at any game show, which would you choose?
• What is your favorite season for outdoor activities?
• What is your favorite activity from your elementary school gym class?
• If you could spend a day with any professional athlete, who would you choose?
• Camping. Love it or hate it?
• Which NFL football team is your favorite?
• What is your favorite activity to watch? Concert? Soccer game? People watching in the mall?
• Do you prefer water sports or snow sports? Why?
Quick Ice Breaker Questions
First impressions matter, even if you do not have a lot of time for open discussion. Instead of using your official accomplishments to introduce yourself, this is a great opportunity to engage more with the group.
• What is the best birthday present you remember getting when you were a kid?
• What is your most annoying quality or habit?
• What kind of pets did you have growing up?
• Surprise parties: Love them or hate them?
• If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
• What is your favorite party game?
• What is your favorite local restaurant?
• If you could only wear one color shirt for the rest of your life, what color would it be?
We created this list of ice breakers to ensure that you always have some good questions to pull on while working, even if you’re working from home. Ice breaker questions for work are great because they start conversations about topics that may have been difficult to discuss within the original meeting agenda.
Using ice breakers may seem a bit rehearsed at first, but the best way to get more comfortable using them is to just keep trying them out!