The Ultimate List of 120 Most Popular Ice Breaker Questions
Most people have experienced some kind of ice breaker question or game at one point or another, and it is simply because they are designed to open up barriers and ease folks into making personal connections and bonding as a team.
Gathering a group of strangers or acquaintances can often involve awkward silences and brief, stale chatter. Good ice breaker questions can amp up any stiff meetings or feelings of forced comradery.
As a founder of a company with nationwide operations in the US and Canada and a team across three continents, I have experience with leading and growing different successful teams. Not every ice breaker question is fit for every group, which makes it all the more exciting to think of the questions that will really make an impact on your specific team.
Does everyone like having a good laugh? Is your group into big imagination or little activities? Do they enjoy philosophical quandaries or impossible scenarios to decide between? Have participants share a bit about their past or what they envision for the future so that meaningful connections can be made with ease.
Jump to Section
- What Is an Ice Breaker Question?
- Why Do Businesses Consistently Use Ice Breakers?
- The Benefits of Ice Breaker Questions
- Good Ice Breaker Questions
- Ice Breaker Questions for Work
- Ice Breaker Games
- Virtual Ice Breaker Questions
- Funny Ice Breaker Questions
- Meeting Ice Breaker Questions
- Ice Breakers Questions for Small Groups
- Quick Ice Breakers
Ice breaker questions or ice breaker games are exercises used during team building or group introduction that promote creative collaboration while breaking any tension, stress or social anxiety with simple questions, prompts and brief games. Discussions that stem from ice breaker questions and team building activities can lead to thoughtful reflection and even bouts of laughter.
Many people have encountered an ice breaker scenario in their life and there is definitely a reason for it! Businesses can use ice breaker questions as a way to warm up a group for conversation. It can be a way to shake off any nerves, allow people to get to know one another better and allow for a time to include every single person so that there is a sense of community and openness when sharing opinions, stories, creative solutions and more.
A workplace setting can also feel very formal, which could put a mental block on individuals where they feel that the only form of communication they can engage in is all business and definitely lacking in human connection. Breaking down these strict barriers with team building games introduces more personality and human depth into the environment, which can lead to more comfort and connection as a group. Bonding as a team in fresh, casual ways is essential in maintaining a productive workflow, promoting creative thinking and helping coworkers find confidence in their work.
Did you know that ice breaker questions have become a proven method of focusing and motivating teams?
A study from Nulab reveals that over 94% of employees felt that team bonding activities have a positive impact on relationships with colleagues, collaboration, open dialogue, overall workplace satisfaction and more. Meetings can become energized and motivated with free-flowing conversation. Groups can truly feel bonded by knowing a little bit more about the people around them.
Getting to know each other also helps foster an atmosphere where teams enjoy coming to work. According to the University of California, when colleagues feel more connected, they’re more likely to be enthusiastic about the job they do. It also encourages positive thinking and cultivates a passion and genuine interest in the work. Ice breaker questions are a simple yet effective way to encourage the type of bonding that leads to better job satisfaction.
Ice breaker questions can be as simple or complex as the situation requires. Is everyone meeting for the very first time? Try a series of straightforward questions that everyone can be quick to answer. Are you having a quarterly meeting? Incorporate some humor into the mix and select questions that inspire thought and creativity. They're versatile and completely adaptable, even for virtual team building activities.
Here are several lists of ice breaker questions to inspire and get you started.
- Where is your favorite place in the entire world and why?
- What is the best food you have ever eaten?
- What is your dream career?
- As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
- What is the best advice or guidance you have ever been given?
- Who are your heroes?
- What is your go-to karaoke song?
- What is your favorite app on your phone?
- Have you read any good books or seen any good movies lately?
- If you could live in any fictional world, which would it be and why?
- Does your family have a story about you that they always re-tell when you are together?
- What is the very first thing you would do after winning a million dollars?
- Do you have any hidden talents?
- What are your favorite social media accounts to follow?
- If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?
- What is a skill that you think everyone should have?
- What is one of your proudest achievements?
- What activity or interest is a huge stress reliever for you?
- If you had a month off to travel anywhere you desire, where would you go?
- If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be?
- If there was no dress code for work, what would be your chosen uniform?
- What type of games would be included in your own work Olympics?
- How do you cope with stress at work?
- What is the worst job you have ever had?
- If you could effortlessly pick up a skill in an instant, what would it be?
- Who had a big influence on you as a kid or a teenager?
- What is one thing you would like to do this year that you have never done before?
- Do you have a collection?
- If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be and why?
- What is your favorite dessert?
- Have everyone share three statements about themselves, two true and one false, and have the group guess which is the lie.
- Everyone gets a notecard with a famous person written on it that will be stuck to their forehead or back and the rest of the team answers their questions to help make the correct guesses.
- Mini talent shows are a fun way to introduce a room of people to one another as they show off talents big and small.
- A Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament is excellent to pair up everyone for a simple game that most people know how to play already.
- Everyone writes down an interesting fact about themselves and the group takes turns pulling them out of a bowl and guessing whom each belongs to.
- Office charades are the same as regular charades with the prompts being people or things you can find in the office like a manager or a water cooler.
- Everyone teams up and pitches a fun movie idea, with or without a prompt. You can even assign a judge to award “funding” for the best idea.
- Pass out a selection of dry spaghetti, marshmallows, string and tape so that the group can compete to see who can build the tallest free-standing structure in 10 minutes.
- Turn the room into an obstacle course and take turns walking through it blindfolded while everyone else shouts directions.
- Set up a simple, silly debate with questions like flying versus invisibility or pizza versus sushi.
- Make a scavenger hunt with things you can often find in wallets, purses, desks, or common areas and see who can collect everything first.
- This may take a little extra effort, but a mini murder mystery party is an excellent way to get people involved and interacting with a task at hand.
- Take a personality quiz and pair up everyone who has similar results.
- Set up a game where everyone has to match up lyrics to classic 80s songs.
- Play a few rounds of “Would You Rather” with questions like, “Would you rather have only summer or only winter for the rest of your life?”
- What is your favorite aspect of working from home?
- What is your morning routine like?
- What is your biggest distraction while working from home?
- How do you avoid distractions while working virtually?
- What is a movie you have been looking forward to watching?
- What are you excited to do after work today?
- What is your work-at-home uniform?
- Are you an early riser or late-night owl?
- How many alarms do you set for yourself? How many times do you hit snooze?
- What does your work-from-home space look like? Give the team a tour!
- What is your favorite book genre to read? Any recommendations?
- How do you take your coffee, tea or preferred beverage?
- What helps you stay productive while working from home?
- What are some suggestions for improving virtual meetings?
- Is there a personal project you are working on that has you inspired?
- What afterschool activity, sport or class did you quit and why?
- What is your ultimate guilty pleasure song?
- What is your most embarrassing teenage memory?
- What is the craziest outfit you have ever worn?
- What is the grossest food you have ever eaten?
- What strange food pairings do you love that no one else understands?
- In a zombie apocalypse, which three people would you want with you?
- Have you been told you have a celebrity doppelganger?
- What are some of your irrational fears?
- Do you have any insane roommate or housing stories?
- What was your least favorite food as a kid and do you still dislike it?
- What is the funniest thing that ever happened on a family vacation?
- Did you ever get away with blaming something on a sibling or friend?
- What is the worst haircut you have ever had?
- What is your most used emoji?
- What is your favorite time of day?
- Who is someone you currently admire?
- Is there a skill you stopped working on that you would like to revisit?
- What are you currently reading?
- What was the last thing to pleasantly surprise you?
- Do you have any family traditions?
- What things bring joy to you in the workplace?
- Have you done any volunteer work?
- Do you like a charity that you wish more people knew about?
- What do you want to be remembered for after you die?
- What would you name your own personal boat?
- What fictional family would you want to be a part of?
- If you were in the Olympics, what would be your event?
- What is your favorite holiday?
- What is your favorite musical instrument and why?
- What is your favorite decade and why?
- If you could be a contestant on any game show from any time period, which would you choose?
- What was your favorite school lunch as a kid?
- What ingredients would go on your perfect sandwich?
- What is your favorite outdoor activity?
- What are your biggest pet peeves?
- What is your very first memory?
- What is your favorite reality TV show?
- If you were stranded on an island, what three items would you want to have with you?
- What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid and what is it now?
- What is your cellphone wallpaper?
- If you could be any supernatural being, which would it be?
- If you were to teach one subject, what would it be?
- If space travel was available to everyone, would you go? What details could sway your choice?
- If you had the power of teleportation, where would you go right now?
- Everyone gets 10 minutes to make a personalized nametag with lists of favorite things, hobbies, drawings, etc.
- Have everyone describe their dream vacation.
- What is your favorite award-winning film?
- Do you have any recurring dreams?
- Go around the circle and have everyone introduce themselves with an adjective that also starts with the first letter of their names. Bonus points to anyone who can repeat the entire group!
- What city are you from?
- What dish would you bring to a potluck? During the next gathering, everyone can bring their selection.
- Do you have any nicknames?
- Who is your favorite Disney character?
- If you could be any superhero, who would it be?
- What is your favorite season and why?
- Do you have a restaurant or local business recommendation?
- How many siblings do you have?
- Plan an informal ice breaker and have coloring and drawing supplies out while everyone chats.
- What is one thing you love?
Whether you have a group of coworkers, a team, a club, a gathering of friends, a classroom or any other collection of personalities, ice breaker questions, games and activities are the simplest and most fun ways to get the conversation flowing and those awkward social barriers to come down. Taking the time to get to know the people around you will benefit your relationships, productivity, confidence, collaborations and overall comfort in the future.
Having a good laugh as a team or diving into sincere topics is nothing to be afraid of, so select your favorite ice breaker questions from this list and share the positive energy!
What is an ice breaker?
An ice breaker can be an activity, game, event or conversation starter that allows a group of individuals to warm up to the atmosphere, get to know one another a little better and literally break any tension, unease or anxiety in social or work settings. Ice breaker questions are a great way to kick off the conversation.
What does "break the ice" mean?
Breaking the ice means to do or say something that can make people who are meeting for the first time or have not socialized previously more comfortable and engaged in conversation. Asking some ice breaker questions is very common in work settings, events and large social gatherings to promote a comfortable environment for everyone.
How do you break the ice in a group setting?
Breaking the ice in a group setting can be as formal or as informal as you want! If you are hoping for a big introduction, play a name game. If you want to simply start some form of communication, play a round of 20 ice breaker questions or charades. Group ice breakers definitely benefit from good conversation, so if the topics naturally lead to a new direction, go with the flow.
What are some ways you can break the ice virtually?
Virtual ice breakers could be anything from everyone sharing something from their surrounding (like an adult show-and-tell) to playing trivia to planning a group snack time or happy hour. Ice breaker questions don't need to be limited to face-to-face interaction!
What's the best way to break the ice easily?
The best way to break the ice is simply to show interest in whoever you are speaking to or the game or activity you are participating in. Avoiding instances of yes or no ice breaker questions will give you more of an opportunity to connect with others on a more genuine level which in turn makes people feel more valued and open to discussion.
This list of engaging ice breaker questions will have your team bonding and building camaraderie in no time. For even more ideas to connect you and your team, check out other experiences happening on Cozymeal.