175 Ice Breaker Questions for Work: The Ultimate List

Get to know your team and boost morale with the best ice breaker questions. From funny to thought-provoking, these questions are ideal for team building.

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Ice Breaker Questions

Do your team members or fellow event attendees feel more like strangers than colleagues? If you can count all the non-work things you know about them on one hand, asking ice breaker questions is great for getting to know each other.

These questions are ideal for starting meetings, launching online events, and ending awkward silences during work calls. In other words, they're designed to build better connections.

So, what should you ask and when? Start with 175 of our favorite ice breaker questions for work, including prompts ranging from serious and thought-provoking to silly and lighthearted.

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How to break the ice at work

Ice breakers can do wonders for getting colleagues to open up and actively listen to one another. But successful ice breaker sessions are no accident. Instead, they require strategic planning.

Before you launch into a list of questions, make a plan. Use these best practices to address when, how, and why to ask ice breakers.

How ice breaker questions help with team building

If you're no stranger to video conferencing or virtual meetings, you know that moments of silence can become uncomfortable. But you may not realize how quickly it happens or how much your team dislikes these moments.

Studies show that English speakers feel awkward after only 4 seconds of silence. And many people find dealing with extended silence very or extremely awkward.

Ice breaker questions eliminate these moments while giving your team opportunities to go beyond surface-level relationships. While these prompts may seem simple, they offer unique insight into what makes your team tick.

As a result, they're great for virtual team building. Since team building tends to improve collaboration and get teams aligned on goals, it's good for business, too.

Communication in the workplace

When to ask ice breaker questions at work

Ice breaker questions can add value to almost any professional activity, from small to large events. All you need is at least two people. For example, you can use these prompts during:

  • 1:1 calls with your direct reports
  • Team meetings with your entire department
  • Webinars for current or potential clients
  • Virtual conferences with attendees from many different companies
  • Networking events designed for audience members to make connections

So, when is the best time to use ice breakers? Plan to include them during these two moments:

  • Before the event begins: Unless your meeting or webinar starts right on time, you'll have a few minutes of silence at the beginning. Draw in attendees and hold their interest by asking engaging questions.
  • Between events or sessions: Webinars and conferences with multiple speakers or sessions often have periods of downtime. Use ice breakers to keep attendees engaged and prevent them from clicking away.

If you're hosting a networking event, ice breakers are even more important. Give your audience a list of prompts to choose from each time they meet someone new.

What you need to break the ice during events

To break the ice during virtual events, you need online meeting software that supports user engagement. Use Livestorm for video conferences, calls, or meetings, and you can prompt attendees to:

  • Respond via live chat
  • Raise their hands to share answers
  • Cast their votes in real-time polls
  • Use emojis to react

You also need a list of questions to ask. Browse the ideas below to pull together your own custom list or download our 50 ice breakers for virtual meetings to get all our top questions, games and activities.

Good vs. bad ice breaker questions

Not all questions are good ice breaker questions. Focus on using prompts that:

  • Go beyond a basic "yes" or "no" answer.
  • Are likely to lead to interesting answers that spark additional conversations.
  • Allow team members to share personal stories that help others get to know them.
  • Don't single out other individuals (especially those in attendance) for negative reasons.

Tips to get more out of your sessions

Use these tips to get more value from ice breakers:

  • Plan ample time. Avoid rushing through the exercise or stopping before everyone has a chance to answer.
  • Answer the question yourself. Start the conversation and make everyone comfortable by answering first.
  • Keep it moving. Clarify who should go next or have each person in the spotlight nominate the next.
coworkers having a meeting in the office

Best ice breaker questions

Are you planning a virtual meeting or hosting an online conference? Don't let your audience wait in silence—or worse, click away and leave the event.

Kick things off with this list of the best ice breaker questions. They're designed to get your team talking and keep attendees engaged during the lead up to the main event.

  1. Which superpower would you want, and how would you use it?
  2. What's the most valuable piece of advice you've ever received?
  3. Do you have a motto that you live by?
  4. How would you title your memoir?
  5. What's one thing that makes you happy outside of work?
  6. As a child, which job did you want to have when you grew up?
  7. If you could give yourself any job title, what would it be?
  8. If you could have a completely different job, what would it be?
  9. If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?
  10. What book or movie changed your life?
  11. What's the most interesting thing you learned recently?
  12. If you could have a conversation with a historical figure, who would you choose?
  13. How would your best friend introduce you to a new friend?
  14. What's the best feedback you've ever received?
  15. What's one thing that inspires you?
  16. What's one skill you wish you had?
  17. What's something you learned today?
  18. What's one of the top things on your bucket list?
  19. What's one thing you're proud of checking off your bucket list?
  20. What's been the best day of your life (so far)?
  21. Who do you consider the most inspirational person in your life?
  22. What's something surprising your colleagues don't know about you?
  23. What two items would you take to a deserted island?
  24. What would your teenage self think of the job you have now?
  25. What's one thing you want to be remembered for?
best ice breaker questions

Ice breaker questions for meetings

The questions above work well for a variety of work events, including meetings with colleagues. But using ice breaker questions for meetings is often a better idea when you're checking in with your team.

These questions focus on what employees appreciate about their department and colleagues. As a result, they're ideal for team bonding and celebrating what makes your team great.

  1. How would you describe your team in one word (noun, verb, or adjective)?
  2. What's the best memory you have of working with your team?
  3. What's your team's number one strength?
  4. Who is the smartest person on your team? Why?
  5. If you could switch jobs with one person on your team, who would it be and why?
  6. If you could change places with your manager for a day, what would you do differently?
  7. What qualities do you value most in a team member?
  8. If your team could go anywhere on a team building retreat, where would you choose?
  9. What business podcast would you recommend to your team?
  10. What business book would you recommend to your team?
  11. If you could switch home offices with anyone on your team, who would it be?
  12. What's the best compliment a team member has given you?
  13. If you could shadow a team member for the day, who would you want to learn from?
  14. What's the most memorable thing you've learned from the team?
  15. What's the most challenging part of your team's role?
  16. How would you describe your team's role to someone outside of the industry?
  17. If you had to give your team a name, what would you choose and why?
  18. If your team was on a sitcom, which would it be and why?
  19. If your team had a theme song, what would you choose?
  20. What's the best team building activity you've experienced?
  21. What's your favorite team or office tradition, and why?
  22. If your team entered the Olympics, what sport would you win a medal for?
  23. What's a goal you'd like your team to achieve this quarter?
  24. If your team had a mascot, what would it be and why?
  25. What advice would you give to someone interviewing to join your team?
ice breaker questions meetings

Fun ice breaker questions

Not all the questions you ask have to be serious. Instead, add some creative ice breaker questions to the mix.

Asking funny or silly ice breaker questions tends to lighten the mood and get colleagues talking. That's why they often work best at the very beginning of a meeting or event.

Try picking one or two of these questions to ask at the beginning of a team meeting. Once everyone has warmed up, ask a serious ice breaker question or two before starting with the meeting agenda.

  1. What's your go-to pizza order?
  2. What's your number one karaoke song?
  3. What movie or show have you rewatched the most?
  4. What's the strangest thing you've ever eaten, and would you try it again?
  5. If you had to eat the same cuisine every day for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
  6. What food will you never eat again?
  7. If you could travel anywhere in the world you haven't been, where would it be?
  8. If you had to vacation in the same place every year, where would you go?
  9. What's your favorite hobby or sport to play?
  10. If you could look into the future, what's one thing you'd want to know?
  11. What's the worst haircut you ever got?
  12. What theme song would you want to play every time you entered a room?
  13. If you could speed up or rewind time, which would you do?
  14. When was the last time you had an adventure?
  15. If you had to listen to one musician on repeat for the rest of your life, who would you choose?
  16. If you could switch places with a character in a book or movie, who would you choose?
  17. If you could be any age (older or younger), which would you choose and why?
  18. Which TV show best captures your personality?
  19. What movie makes you laugh the hardest?
  20. Have you ever pulled off a memorable prank? What happened?
  21. If you won the lottery, what's the first thing you would do?
  22. What was your senior superlative? If you didn't have one, what would it have been?
  23. What's something that makes you feel like a kid again?
  24. Who is the most famous celebrity you've met?
  25. If you could be famous for anything, what would it be?
three women pointing at a computer smiling

Quick ice breaker questions

When you have limited time for virtual team building activities, skip the long ice breaker questions. Instead, provide quick prompts that team members can answer in just a few seconds.

Think of it as a lightning round. Encourage colleagues to respond with the first thing they think of. This way, everyone can participate and learn about each other, even if you only have a few minutes.

  1. What's the last book you read? Would you recommend it?
  2. What's the best book you've ever read?
  3. What's one new skill you want to master?
  4. What's a major professional goal you want to achieve this year?
  5. What was your very first job?
  6. Which emoji do you use most often?
  7. If you could send your manager one emoji, what would it be?
  8. Do you have a favorite word?
  9. Do you have a secret talent?
  10. What other languages do you speak?
  11. What's your biggest pet peeve?
  12. What's one thing you're the best at?
  13. What's a habit you're particularly proud of developing?
  14. What's your most used mobile app?
  15. What's your go-to virtual background for work events?
  16. Would you rather take a trip to the ocean or the mountains?
  17. Do you consider yourself a morning person or a night person?
  18. Do you collect anything? Why?
  19. What's one food you absolutely refuse to eat?
  20. What was your best subject in school?
  21. What was your favorite subject in school?
  22. How many unread emails do you have in your inbox?
  23. How many alarms do you set in the morning?
  24. What's something everyone else dislikes but you love?
  25. What's the longest you've gone without being online?
quick ice breaker questions

Holiday ice breaker questions

As a remote team, you probably won't have a chance to celebrate holidays in person. While traditional holiday parties may be out of the question, you can still enjoy the season together.

Use these ice breaker questions for events and meetings scheduled throughout the holiday season. This way, you can get in the holiday spirit while bonding with your team.

  1. What's your favorite holiday to celebrate?
  2. What's your earliest memory of [holiday]?
  3. What's your favorite thing about the holidays?
  4. What's a holiday tradition you grew up with that you continue to keep alive today?
  5. What's your family's most unusual holiday tradition?
  6. Is there a new holiday tradition you're excited to start with your family?
  7. Have you ever had a holiday celebration go horribly wrong?
  8. Do you have a favorite holiday meal or treat?
  9. What's your holiday decoration style?
  10. What's a holiday song you could listen to all year round?
  11. If you could star in a holiday movie, which one would you choose?
  12. Do you have a favorite scent that reminds you of the holidays?
  13. What's the most memorable holiday gift you ever received?
  14. Which gift would you like to receive most this year?
  15. What's the holiday gift you most enjoyed giving?
  16. Is there a gift you're excited to give this year?
  17. If you had to choose between exchanging gifts or sharing experiences, which would you pick?
  18. Which coworker do you think would make the best Secret Santa?
  19. What's your favorite outdoor activity during the holiday season?
  20. If you could travel anywhere for the holidays, where would you go?
  21. If you could invite any three people to your holiday party, who would they be?
  22. What's your favorite way to ring in the new year?
  23. Do you typically make New Year's resolutions?
  24. Do you keep the New Year's resolutions you make?
  25. If you could designate a new holiday, what would it be and how would you celebrate?
A team and their clients participating in fun virtual activities and organized events

Ice breaker questions for small groups

Small groups can be ideal for getting to know colleagues or meeting new peers. When you start with the right ice breaker questions, small groups can feel more comfortable for everyone.

These small group questions are great for video calls, virtual meetings, and even conference breakout rooms. Use them to spark conversations and get team members or attendees talking.

  1. What's an interesting thing about you that your colleagues don't know?
  2. What's a quality you admire in other people or colleagues?
  3. What's something you give 100% to outside of work?
  4. Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?
  5. What's a sign that you're stressed at work and need to take a step back?
  6. What's your favorite way to destress?
  7. What does your morning routine look like?
  8. What's your dream job?
  9. What would you do with an extra hour each day?
  10. What's your favorite thing to do in your city?
  11. When did you last do something outside your comfort zone?
  12. How do you motivate yourself to tackle difficult tasks?
  13. What's one task or area where you always procrastinate?
  14. What music, podcast, or show do you listen to while you work from home?
  15. Do you have an app or tool you couldn't do your job without?
  16. What's a dish you can prepare from memory without looking at the recipe?
  17. What's a new habit you want to pick up?
  18. What's a skill you never learned growing up?
  19. What's a life lesson you wish you'd learned much earlier?
  20. What's a major accomplishment that you're proud of?
  21. What's the coolest or most useful thing you bought recently?
  22. What's an industry buzzword you refuse to use or say?
  23. What's a book, movie, or TV show that changed your outlook on life?
  24. If you could win an award (like an Oscar) or a medal (like in the Olympics), what would it be for?
  25. If you could change places with any real person for a day, who would you choose?
ice breaker questions small groups

Ice breaker questions for large groups

Conferences and networking events can be excellent outlets for meeting potential peers, mentors, or clients. But to build meaningful connections with people you've just met, you need a different approach.

When you ask strategic ice breaker questions, large groups can lead to high-value professional relationships. Use these questions to learn about others' professional backgrounds and identify how you can help them.

  1. What's something you could speak about for 30 minutes with no preparation?
  2. What's the best advice you received from a mentor?
  3. What's the worst advice you received from a superior?
  4. What's your best advice to anyone who's just starting out in your field?
  5. What's something you'd like to start—but you don't know where to begin?
  6. If you could own any kind of business, what would it be?
  7. What inspired you to work in your field?
  8. What's the first thing you ask when you meet someone new?
  9. Do you have a process for learning or mastering new skills?
  10. Do you have any tips or secrets to improving productivity?
  11. What's your most valuable technical skill?
  12. What's your most valuable soft skill?
  13. What's the most valuable professional community you've joined?
  14. What's a conference or professional event you'd like to attend this year?
  15. What's the biggest risk you've taken in your career, and how did it turn out?
  16. What's your dream role at your dream company?
  17. If you could work from anywhere, where would you choose?
  18. If you could start over with a completely different career, what would it be?
  19. If you could meet your idol or role model in person, what would you say?
  20. What's something you'd like to teach to others?
  21. What's one task you wish you could outsource to someone else?
  22. Has anything exceeded your expectations today?
  23. Do you have any side projects you're proud of?
  24. What's an industry trend that concerns you?
  25. What's one thing you'd change about your industry?
ice breaker questions large groups

Livestorm for virtual ice breaker questions

Ready to run more engaging virtual meetings? With Livestorm, you can host anything from 1:1 meetings to online events with up to 3,000 attendees.

You'll find native features like live chat, polls, and emoji reactions included in every Livestorm plan. And with Livestorm integrations, you can easily connect tools for whiteboards, direct messages, timers, and much more.

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