Your Go-To List of Ice Breaker Questions for Meetings and Team Buildings

6 min read
brainstorming session of a team with ice breakers

In today’s day and age, working remotely can get challenging. Fortunately, there are fun and creative ways to keep teams intact and functional during these times. Need to spice up your team-building activities? Start with ice breaker questions! Check out the benefits of ice breakers and the list of ice breaker questions; along with how these can prove useful in employee engagement and cross-functional collaboration.

Benefits of Ice Breaker Questions

One of the usual top team building tips is to use ice breaker questions. This can also apply during office meetings, virtual huddles, or even simple weekly catch-up sessions with your colleagues.

What are ice breakers and how are they helpful to teams? Most of the time, ice breaker questions help:

  • Set a friendly ambience even in formal settings
  • Put team members at ease with each other
  • Promote self-disclosure and self-assessment
  • Break awkward silences
  • Stir up ingenuity and honesty
  • Strengthen team bond

Zooming in on the top benefits, let’s dive deeper into how ice breakers give value to teams and groups.

Building a community

Ice breaker questions provide a fun opportunity for new employees to introduce themselves. Likewise, these also help familiar teams work on and eventually improve their working relationships.

Encouraging interaction

Working as part of a team requires healthy engagement and interaction to help drive great results.

For groups that have already settled, using ice breakers during huddles can help improve their working bond. Also, using ice breaker questions for the new staff allows them to be at ease.

Instilling empathy

This type of activity lets team members open their minds and hearts to answer engaging questions. By promoting a healthy discourse, they are able to talk about their viewpoints on certain situations. Thus, they’re able to view events or happenings through others’ eyes and understand where they’re coming from.

smiling woman engaging in online meeting with colleagues

List of Good Ice Breaker Questions

Now, what questions should you ask in certain setups? Check these for your next huddle or team building!

Ice breaker questions for small groups

  • What movie or TV show made you laugh the hardest?
  • If you could do your dream job 5 to 10 years from now, what would it be?
  • If you could watch one movie or TV show again for the first time, what would it be and why?
  • Would you rather be able to fly or turn invisible?
  • Who is that one person you would like to say “Thank you” to now?
  • Would you rather travel back in time to meet your ancestors, or forward in time to meet your descendants?
  • What is your favorite hobby or pastime?
  • What’s your unusual talent?
  • If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  • If you’re stranded on a desert island, what 3 items would you bring and why?

Ice breaker questions for team building

  • If you could learn any skill right now, what would it be?
  • If you had a time machine which you can only use once, what point in the future or in the past would you visit?
  • Can you name one person in your community who makes a big difference?
  • You’re stuck in a zombie apocalypse. Which two famous people (living or dead) do you want to team up with to survive, and why?
  • What does teamwork mean to you?
  • Have you ever won something as a team member?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how much of a team player are you?
  • What is a teamwork deal-breaker for you?
  • How do you describe an ideal team?
  • What’s your earliest memory of teamwork?

Ice breaker questions for office meetings

  • What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received at work?
  • Do you prefer working from home or the office?
  • What’s the best work holiday for you?
  • What’s the best professional development book you’ve ever read?
  • If you could brand your work persona with 3 hashtags, what would they be?
  • In one word, what’s the greatest challenge you’ve faced this month (or week)?
  • Have you ever ticked off things from your bucket list?
  • Where was the last place you went for the first time?
  • What’s your comfort food?
  • Would you rather be able to fly or be invisible?

Ice breaker questions for virtual meetings

  • Would you rather start working early in the morning or late at night?
  • Where do you consider “home”?
  • How does your home workspace look like?
  • How do you jumpstart your workday?
  • What’s your usual Zoom meeting attire?
  • Since we’re working from home, what did you do with the time you didn’t spend on commuting today?
  • What’s the hardest part of working from home for you?
  • How do you combat distractions when working from home?
  • How can we improve our virtual meetings?
  • Do you do desk exercises?

With these sample questions you can use in your ice breakers, you’re in for more fun team-building activities!

young team of professionals exchanging ice breaker questions

List of Inappropriate Ice Breaker Questions: What You Should Never Ask Colleagues

As much as you’d like to have a fun and interesting session with your teammates, you’d also need to think about asking appropriate ice breaker questions to avoid misunderstandings and awkward moments. With that, consider leaving out these questions for your next meeting:

  • What was the most difficult moment during your childhood?
  • Have you ever consulted with a therapist?
  • What was the worst advice you have ever been given?
  • Who is your office crush?
  • How much do you make?
  • What’s your worst scar story?
  • What’s your mother’s maiden name?
  • At what age would you choose to get married?
  • How’s your love life?
  • What’s your religion?

Remember, these questions may tend to cross people’s boundaries. Better to avoid this kind of ice breakers!

Benefits of Cross-Functional Collaboration

In a more formal setting, how can ice breakers help businesses in making their employees more productive and their operations more effective?

Enter cross-functional collaboration. This is when people from different teams or departments within an organization work together toward a common goal or project. However, this setup gets challenging when not properly managed. Working with other teams may allow for misunderstanding, so taking steps to break barriers is advisable.

Holding team buildings can be useful. Incorporating ice breaker questions provides an opportunity for them to start knowing each other and collaborate more efficiently. Moreover, how can cross-functional collaboration help drive business success? Here are reasons organizations encourage this practice.

Engaged employees

Admit it: Working with the same teammates and job responsibilities can get tiring and boring sometimes. Collaborating with other teams for special projects helps get employees feel more involved and challenged. Moreover, shifting to interdepartmental setups can help enhance bonding, professional relationships, and workplace dynamics.

Innovative ideas

When leaders or project managers put different departments to work together, this method of collaboration can bring out new perspectives and creative solutions. Also, when different minds with different roles join forces, they tend to think outside of the box to drive better outcomes.

Improved team spirit

With ice breaker questions helping establish a more relaxed dynamic, encouraging cross-functional collaboration also opens opportunity to build a team of high-performers. In turn, this allows them to offer more to the company by taking on bigger challenges and fostering a sense of unity to work on their common goals.

man talking to his team online via zoom meeting

Essential Cross-Functional Leadership Skills to Put on Your Resume

While we’ve discussed how ice breaker questions are part of cross-functional collaboration, how do you make sure you land your desired job in the first place? One crucial way to step up your job search game is to show that you value teamwork factors as part of marketing yourself as a job candidate.

To help you with that, here are vital collaboration and leadership skills you must have and include on your resume:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Organization skills
  • Flexibility
  • Systemic thinking
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Resourcefulness

Now, how do you highlight these skills to strengthen your resume and your overall job application?

Review the job description.

Make sure to target your resume and job application to the specific job roles you’re aiming for. As tempting as it could be to write a generic resume, this could only do more harm than good for your job search. Instead, list your cross-functional collaboration and leadership skills that are aligned with what the job requires. Moreover, ensure your skills are quantifiable. Mention specific situations where you applied these skills at work and how these skills helped the company achieve desired outcomes.

Be honest with your credentials.

Of course, you’d want to put your best foot forward before hiring managers and employers. Being honest with what you write on your resume helps you make a good impression and boosts your chances of landing your dream job.

Considering all these factors in writing your resume, your job search can now get overwhelming. Preparing yourself for your interviews and even thinking about how you can effectively market yourself as the best job candidate out there add to the more tedious tasks of your job hunt.

Fret not! There are experts committed to helping you overcome your resume writing blues. As one of the most trusted resume company reviews sites, our goal is to help job seekers like you in choosing the best resume writing service for your job search needs. Don’t know which to hire today? Check out our list of the best resume writing services now!