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What are ice breaker questions?
Working remotely is a very common thing these days. While it has many benefits, people often miss the chance of getting together physically in meetings, and ice-breaker questions asked in virtual meetings can help fill the distance between co-workers. Ice breaker questions can create a feeling of community and develop relationships between co-workers and group members.
In many peoples' personal and professional life, virtual meetings continue to play an active presence. Ice breaker questions that help with starting discussions can be employed when meeting someone new over video chat to initiate a conversation and encourage discussion.
What are the benefits of ice breaker questions?
Since people spend relatively more time with their co-workers in their daily life, it is important to feel comfortable with the people they work with. Asking ice breaker questions in virtual meetings can help people to get to know each other and bond. This way, members of a team can get more productive since they feel more comfortable and closer to one another. In addition, you can prevent awkward silence in virtual meetings and reduce anxiety with ice breaker questions.
An environment of respect that builds team members' confidence that they may share their thoughts, feedback, and concerns without fear of retaliation is one of the critical components of a great environment for psychological safety, which is what ice breakers help to do. This strategy encourages a wider range of viewpoints, which results in discussions that are ultimately more effective.
Here are more detailed reasons why you should benefit from ice breaker questions:
People can get to know each other virtually
By asking interesting questions rather than asking people to introduce themselves, you can actually learn more about their background and interests.
Fun ice breaker questions create a relaxed work environment
Ice breaker questions can help co-workers to exchange insightful and fun conversations other than work-related topics. Starting a virtual meeting this way can help people to relax so that they can approach work-related topics with a calm mind.
You can develop a team bond in virtual meetings
In the long term, these questions create a ground for team members to speak with more confidence with each other and address any kind of problem with sincerity. This way, teams understand each other and become eager to work together.
Ice breaker questions in meetings can motivate people before work
Setting the tone for the meeting by coming up with fun questions as opposed to simply sticking to the agenda. Members of the meeting can express themselves fearlessly and have better ideas because they feel more comfortable and also accepted by each other.
Here are some good and fun ice breaker questions for virtual meetings you can use:
1. What was your favorite quarantine purchase?
Quarantine was a big time of our daily life. Everything was done through our cell phones and computers; shopping was one of them. Asking people about the funniest thing they bought online can create laughs!
2. Where in the world are you?
People can work remotely wherever they are, so you and your co-worker might not be even in the same country
3. Do you have any pets, if so, what are their names?
Asking people about the things they value in their life can show them how much they are cared for by their co-workers.
4. Have you ever been video bombed during a virtual meeting? Tell us what happened
Videobombed during a virtual meeting probably happens to everyone now and then. This question can create both a relaxed and fun environment, further, telling a funny story can reduce a co-worker’s anxiety, you will never know!
5. What was your first job?
This question can have follow-up questions such as “What was it like?”, “Did you like it?”, “Is there something stuck with you from that job?”.
6. Coffee or tea?
Simple questions like this can help you learn more about their personality traits, and with these casual topics, virtual meetings feel as if they are happening physically.
7. What is your idea of a good virtual team-building exercise?
With this kind of question, you can make a co-worker feel they are participating in creating a better a better work community.
8. Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings?
A question like this which people are asking for years can be a lot of fun ice breaker for virtual meetings! Surely people will get excited to take a side, and in the long run, it can become an inside joke between team members.
9. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
You can ask each member in the meeting this question, and maybe some people can have the same answer!
10. What was your favorite childhood movie?
Nostalgia always brings out positive feelings! Think about starting your work with comforting feelings about your childhood after you talk about it. Wouldn't that be great?
11. Where did you grow up?
You can also extend this question by asking about their favorite place in that area.
12. Are you an early bird or a night owl?
You can learn about how coworkers earn some habits and traits even from their sleeping schedule and talk about it.
13. Do you play any instruments?
People would love to hear compliments on their creative work! You can also ask them about their favorite artist who plays the same instrument.
14. What is one item you couldn’t live without?
Let's see if you can get interesting answers rather than "my phone".
15. If you could have dinner with anybody in history, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?
Who people admire and take as a role model can tell much about that person. You must consider asking this question when meeting new faces or you can ask the people you already know, you can get fun answers.
16. What’s your unusual talent?
There is a fun question here! You can create great laughs while getting the answers.
17. If you were stranded on a desert island, what band or music would you want?
Instead of asking the plain question "what is your favorite band music?" you can ask this.
18. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Imagine all the possible answers and the reason behind them. It would be great to know why someone likes that country and its culture.
19. What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?
Guilty pleasures are really funny private issues. Asking this can encourage people to be transparent.
20. Name two crazy habits you've developed after working from home.
You can include yourself and say "mine is..." what's yours?
21. What kind of fun break would you like to have in a workweek?
If you are one of the people who likes to motivate others, this question can help you find different ways to do that.
22. Do you listen to music while working?
You will be surprised to hear other answers than classical music. You can also ask them which genre they listen to while they are working and how did they gain this habit.
23. Which series would you like to binge-watch with friends?
You can ask this to a group of people and maybe get the same answers. If they live in the same city maybe people with the same answer can actually do that and it can help to bond within the team.
24. If you could travel through time, which year/decade would you like to go to?
Some can want to go to the 2000s for its fashion! If people say past, you can also ask them whether they would change anything and if they say future, ask them about what would they expect to see.
25. What is your favorite film, tv series, or book?
This question can create an intellectual work environment where people share ideas about their favorites.
26. What is a song you listen to boost your morale?
Did you know some people start the day with dancing and music rather than coffee? Maybe your co-workers are one of them!
27. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I would choose to be able to sleep with my eyes open and still process information.
28. Can you tell us two truths and a lie about yourself, and we will guess!
This offers a fun activity where everyone can participate and turns the introductions into something really fun also interesting.
29. Do you like square or triangle pizza?
You can continue by asking "What is your favorite topping?" or "Have you ever eaten a pizza with pineapple?".
30. What is the app on your phone you use mostly?
I use Instagram to get updates on BeforeSunset. What about you?
31. Did you have celebrity posters on your walls as a kid?
With this question, you can get a sense of their style when they were young and talk about their favorite celebrity or band.
32. Have you ever eaten any bizarre food?
This question can tell if a person is adventurous or not! Think about the funny faces people would make in the meeting, that would be really funny.
33. What is your comfort movie or album?
Not everyone's favorite thing is also the thing that comforts them. You can ask them how they feel as they watch/listen to it.
34. If you could live in any country for one year, which place would you choose and why?
The interesting part about this question is that it's not forever but one year. This question can make you learn about a person's second or third favorite country which is not often talked about.
35. Who is your favorite movie villain?
Asking about heroes is cliche. Ask them about the villain and why would they choose him/her.
36. What is the best gift you have ever received?
Some people like simple things and others like big or expensive things. Find out which group your co-worker is in and maybe you can send them a gift.
37. What was your favorite Halloween costume ever?
You can ask them lots of Halloween questions during the spooky season!
38. What was your favorite subject when you were in school?
Let's see if you have any nerds on your team!
39. What was your favorite class in college?
This question can be extended to asking who was their favorite professor and why. If some people are studied the same thing, they can become friends.
40. Are you reading a book right now?
You can also make a book-reading activity for your team in which everyone reads the same book and talk about it before virtual meetings. Participating in a group activity like this can help with building teamwork.
41. What skill do you wish you could wake up and have tomorrow?
A fun icebreaker question where you can get unique answers.
42. What is your favorite part about working from home?
Some people don't like to be home all day. Find out which ones are your team members.
43. Are you watching an interesting show right now?
You can encourage them to speak more about it if they liked it so much.
44. If you could speak another language, which would you choose?
Some people can choose a language just because of its phonetics, and some can choose one because they cannot learn it how much they try. Ask them why would they choose that language.
45. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
You can hear really cute stories if anyone has a pet. What a heart-warming way would it be to start a meeting!
46. Do you like your tea sweet or unsweetened?
You can also ask "Do you prefer coffee or tea?"
47. What is the last thing you ate or drank?
Ask them if they recommend it.
48. What meal would you cook for someone that you’re trying to impress?
Maybe everyone would love the dish and ask for the recipe!
49. What is your favorite drink?
Let's learn if they are a beer person or cocktail person!
50. Which canceled TV show do you wish was still on the air?
Some people can get really passionate about unfinished stories, and maybe some of the answers can be the same.
51. What weird food did you love as a kid?
You can ask them if it is their favorite food and if they eat it regularly.
52. What piece of advice helped your career the most?
Answers you can get from this question can help others to inspire from them.
53. Where would you move if you could retire tomorrow?
Maybe some answers can include not only different cities but different countries!
54. How many countries (or states) have you visited? Can you name them?
You can also ask them about a fun or interesting fact about the city.
55. Did you play a sport in high school or college?
If some of the team members are interested in the same sports, they can meet and watch or even talk about it often. Topics like this can help team members to get closer and get in touch after work.
56. Are you a city or a country person?
Some people like noise, movement, and crowds, but some like nature, quiet, and animal noises. Find out who likes who, and maybe some people can meet and do some activities wherever they like.
57. Apple or Microsoft?
This question can be extended to asking which qualities of the two people like the most.
58. If you weren’t at work right now, what would you be doing?
Maybe there is some cool event going on in that person's neighborhood and you can talk about it!
59. What is your favorite weekend activity?
You can learn about your team members' habits during their week and it can help team members to get to know each other. Some of them might like to go out while others like to stay home.
60. If you were going to a picnic, what would you bring?
Maybe some of your team members like to bake! Additionally, you can actually organize a picnic for your team!
61. What is your favorite holiday and why?
This question can also reveal which season that person likes the most.
61. Who inspires you in your profession?
If you ask this question in a virtual group meeting, everyone can share their thought and learn about new people that can inspire them in their fields.
62. Would you rather own a yacht or a private jet?
On the surface, it looks like a preference for luxury but this fun ice breaker question can actually show you how patient your team members are.
63. Would you want to be famous? If so, what would you want to be famous for?
This can be an interesting topic to talk about. You can learn about a co-worker's hidden talent or a wish for a talent. Furthermore, they might tell you that they want to be famous for their profession and reveal the passion or ambition they have for their job.
64. If you had one extra hour of free time every day, how would you use it?
...and what would you use it for?
65. Where would you go in the event of a zombie apocalypse?
If someone says they cannot think of a place, you can tease them for not telling because it would be too crowded. There you go, you have an inside joke!
66. What fashion trend are you glad is gone?
Ask them if they ever wore it, it would be a fun ice breaker topic to talk about.
67. What fashion trend would you like to see return?
This question can turn into a fun topic where everyone talks about funny trends.
68. Do you believe in aliens?
...and if so, what do you think they look like? Do you think they look like the ones in the movies?
69. What is the worst movie you have ever seen?
Telling someone your favorite movie is hard because you can love multiple movies for different reasons, but you can never forget the worst movie!
70. Do you talk to your pets as if they are people?
They will probably tell you that their pets talk them back, such a warm topic to break the ice!
71. What movie makes you laugh until you cry?
It could also be an episode from a series!
72. Do you think Rose could have made room for Jack on the door?
This is one of the funny ice breaker questions for virtual meetings because we all asked it to ourselves or to others at some point in our lives.
73. Do you think tickling is funny or maddening?
It will probably be agreed that it was funny when they were younger.
74. Did you have a rebellious teenage stage?
...if so, do you have any crazy stories?
75. What is your favorite April Fool’s Day joke?
Let's find out who is the prankster in the team and what is the funniest thing they have done to someone.
76. Do you prefer romantic comedies or drama?
You can ask them about their favorite film in one of these genres.
77. Do you have any embarrassing post-anesthesia stories?
The story would create laughs for sure.
78. What is one story about you or your siblings that your family always laughs about?
Sharing funny childhood memories can help team members to get closer to each other.
79. What songs do you want to be played at your funeral?
Let's see if they are going to choose a cheerful song or a sad one. Hearing different answers can reveal unique sides of one's personality.
80. If you could pick any song to play at your wedding, what would it be?
People can find out who is the most romantic and who is the wild one when it comes to special moments!
81. Would you go on a UFO if you were invited?
You can find out who is the most curious and adventurous on the team! You can also ask them what they expect to find there.
82. What song describes you best right now?
This question can be asked instead of asking how they are.
83. Which character from the Office would you be?
Hope they don't say Creed!
84. What is your favorite song to sing in the shower?
The acoustics of the shower is something else, isn't it?
85. What is your favorite song to sing while driving with the windows down?
You can also talk about if they prefer road trips and which season they prefer to travel. Sharing preferences even about simple things can help people to get to know each other.
86. What is the scariest thing you have ever done for fun?
Doing something scary for fun? Let's find out who is the most fearless in the group and talk about it!
87. What fictional world would you want to live in?
...and which part of the world they would want to live, as someone else or themselves?
88. What song do you embarrassingly know every word to?
If you want to ask a detailed version of the guilty pleasure question, this is one of them!
89. If you could clone yourself, what would your clone be doing right now?
With this question, you can learn about your team members' interests and hobbies they attend during the times left from work.
90. Pick something in the room and make up a story about it.
You can encourage creative thinking with questions like this, and it can benefit the work they are doing!
91. What’s the worst advice you’ve ever been given?
There would be definitely a personal reason why they think it is the worst, this way you can learn about different sides of their personality and world vision.
92. Do you have any scar that has a funny story behind it?
Most people have scars from their childhood, and the story behind it is a clumsy one! Stories that can come with the question can create comic relief in the virtual meeting.
93. If you were one of the Smurfs, which one would you be?
If you want to learn more about a co-worker's personality, you can definitely ask which one they prefer to identify themselves with.
94. What qualities do you think are best in a teammate?
This can serve as feedback from team members, and it can be also asked whether they think they have those qualities or not.
95. When was the first time you were a part of a team?
You can enrich the conversation by asking about their experiences in team projects.
96. Did you like prefer teamwork or working by yourself in school?
Another question as an extension can be "Were you the one that does all the work in a team project?".
97. Are you a listener or a talker?
You can balance the participation degrees in virtual meetings according to the answers to this.
98. What type of partner would you choose to balance yourself out?
Asking about another person can tell much about the person themselves. Do they know themselves? Are they aware of their flaws? You can get the answers to many different questions by asking only this question.
99. What are the team-building activities you find effective?
Everyone can have a saying about making work and meetings more motivational, and also you can show them that their ideas are valuable for making work a positive thing.
100. What was your dream job when you were a child?
Talking about dreams and desires can really contribute to the friendship between team members.
You can make virtual meetings fun and interesting with ice breaker questions
Your virtual meetings can always be warm, enjoyable, and more effective if there are funny icebreaker questions on the calendar. The ones mentioned above can be used at any moment to encourage sharing and connection.
So use these icebreaker questions in your next virtual meeting to get the party started, or prepare them for the happy hour that follows the meeting! To ensure everyone has fun together, you might even suggest ideas to your team leaders.