We've all had awkward team meetings where no one knows how to kick things off. I've been guilty of starting too many meetings with "how was your weekend?" or "how are you?!" Boring.

Here's a few ice breaker questions to get your team to open up in a more fun and creative way, whether you're onboarding someone new or on a team outing at an offsite. Make sure to tailor questions to fit with your own team's culture.

Questions for Breaking the Ice 🧊

Coming up with work appropriate engaging questions can be challenging. You are probably thinking – I genuinely want to get to know my teammates beyond the superficial questions but I don't want to get personal before they're comfortable. It's always best to work your way up to deeper personal questions after getting to know someone. But you can often get to the important questions by leading structured workshops with your team where the purpose is to get to know each other better.

Here are some fun and easy questions you can ask at first:

  • What's something most people don't know about you?
  • What's your happy place?
  • Favorite movie ever?! Why?
  • How do you like to spend your weekends / free time?
  • Do you consider yourself lucky?
  • How do you like to relax? What do you do, where do you go, etc?

Here are some more personal questions to really get to know you teammates:

  • What inspired you to pursue your current career path?
  • What are some personal values that you believe strongly align with your professional life?
  • What's your family like?
  • What's a goal or aspiration you have, either personally or professionally, that you're working towards?
  • Deep down, what do you think motivates you?
  • Who are people that you are inspired by? Why?
  • What teammates do you really admire? What about them do you admire and why?
  • What's the most fulfilling project you've ever worked on? Why?
  • When were you last outside your comfort zone?

Activities to Break the Ice 🧩

Beyond just asking questions, there are fun activities both big and small that can help you get to know your teammates better. These activities are things you can do with individuals that are new to the team or people you've worked with for years. They are especially helpful if you're a remote-first team.

  • Give your teammates a quick tour around your workspace on Zoom. Feel free to share anything that makes this space feel productive for you.
  • Do a personality test workshop
  • Create readmes as a team
  • Host a work happy hour (virtual or in person) 
  • Skill swap session: have team members share and/or teach about a skill they have, either personal or professional
  • Team trivia

The Do's & Don'ts

Getting to know your teammates better should be a process approached with thought and tact. Here are some do's and don'ts


  • Consider the Team Dynamics and Culture: Tailor questions and activities to the individuals you have on your team and the culture you have and want to instill in the team. Ensure the icebreaker is inclusive and respectful of diverse backgrounds and preferences.
  • Keep it Real: It's up to you if you want to keep things light and positive or if you prefer to get deeper with your teammates. Regardless, it's important that you and your team feels empowered to be authentic.
  • Encourage Participation: Create an environment where everyone feels comfortable participating, even those that are traditionally more softspoken or closed off. It's also important, though, that you respect boundaries when individuals don't feel comfortable sharing or participating.


  • Force Participation: Avoid pressuring individuals to participate if they are not comfortable. Respect varying comfort levels with social interactions.
  • Choose Inappropriate Topics: Steer clear of topics that may be divisive, offensive, or inappropriate for a professional setting. Be cautious with humor, ensuring it is inclusive and not offensive.
  • Underestimate Preparation: Don't assume that all icebreakers will work seamlessly without adequate preparation. This includes participation from the organizers and participants. Sometimes pre-work is necessary and helps ensure you get the most of the time you're spending together.

Hope these prompts and activities help break the ice with your teammates and most importantly get to know them on a personal level. Many of these prompts are part of the Candor profile, so if you like them, consider filling out a profile and sharing it with your teammates.

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