Maybe you’re brand new on your team. Or, maybe you’ve been around for a while, but you’ve realized that you really don’t know all that much about the people you work with. Either way, it’s time to pull out some get-to-know-you questions.
Don’t groan quite yet! There are plenty you can ask your team members that don’t involve those clichés that everybody is sick of answering. After all, does anybody really care about your packing preferences for that hypothetical desert island?
Throw a couple of these prompts (many of which we actually use right here at The Muse) out in a team meeting or even a one-on-one coffee (or non-coffee!) catch-up, and get ready to bond with your colleagues on a whole new level.
If you prefer to jump straight to it, you can skip to questions that are:
Get-to-Know-You Questions 1-19 Strictly Business
Let’s say you’re having lunch or a one-on-one meeting with a colleague, and you’re eager to understand more about their specific role, career trajectory, or working style. Well, these questions cover nearly every possible work-related topic.
What do you do at [Company] and in what circumstances would I come to you for something?
What’s one professional skill you’re currently working on?
What’s your go-to productivity trick?
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?
What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute your success to, and why?
How do you prefer to start your day?
How do you prefer to end your day?
What was your first job?
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had, and what did you learn from it?
What’s a mistake you made early on in your career, and what did you learn from it?
What led you to this career?
What energizes you at work?
What drains you at work?
What’s one thing that surprised you about working at [Company]?
What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re really proud of?
What’s your biggest work pet peeve?
What’s the biggest misconception people have about your position?
If you could add one thing to [Company’s] office, what would it be?
Get-to-Know-You Questions 20-44 A Little More Personal
You want to dig a little deeper to understand who that person is when they leave the office each and every day. These questions go beyond work-related matters and lighthearted icebreakers (don’t worry—we’ll get to those!) to give you some better insight into what really makes that person tick.
- If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be?
- If you could write a book about your life, what would the title be and why?
- What advice would you give to your teenage self?
- What do you do to turn things around when you’re having a bad day?
- What drains you outside of work?
- What energizes you outside of work?
- What’s a trip that changed you, and why?
- What’s one of your favorite memories from the past year?
- What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
- What’s one thing you’re currently trying to make a habit?
- What’s one thing you’re learning now, and why is it important?
- What’s something you saw recently that made you smile?
- What’s something you’ve done, but will never do again?
- What’s something—big or small—that you’re really bad at?
- What’s something—big or small—that you’re really good at?
- What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?
- What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
- What’s your favorite way to unwind after a busy day?
- What’s your guilty pleasure?
- When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
- If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would you choose?
- If you had to pick one age to be permanently, which age would you choose?
- What three words would your friends use to describe you?
- Who would play you in a movie about your life?
- What would we most likely find you doing on the weekend?
Get-to-Know-You Questions 45-70 Just for Fun
If you’re looking for a quirky or upbeat way to kick off a team meeting with some bonding or even just get a conversation rolling one on one, these fun, unexpected, and low-pressure questions should do the trick.
- Are you a dog person or a cat person (or neither)?
- Do you have a hidden talent? What is it?
- If you could choose a name for yourself, what would it be?
- If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?
- If you could only eat one item for every meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- If you could only have three apps on your smartphone, which would you pick?
- If you were the only human left on Earth, what would you do?
- What book are you reading now?
- What’s your favorite sport to watch and which team do you root for?
- What trend do you hope makes a comeback?
- What’s one hobby you’d love to get into?
- What’s one item you can’t leave your house or apartment without?
- What’s one item you want to own that you don’t?
- What’s one song or artist that you’re embarrassed to admit you like?
- What’s one song you have completely memorized?
- What’s one totally irrational fear that you have?
- What’s the first concert you ever went to?
- What’s the top destination on your must-visit list?
- What fictional place would you most like to visit?
- What’s your favorite place to eat around here?
- What’s your favorite TV show—the one you’re always watching on repeat?
- What’s your go-to karaoke song?
- What’s your most hated household chore?
- What’s your most used emoji?
- Which season is your favorite?
- What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?
Even if you aren’t brand new in the office, it never hurts to get to know your co-workers a little bit better (here’s why). But, let’s face it—it can be tough to think of questions that go beyond, “What’d you do this weekend?” or “It’s a little cold in here today, isn’t it?”
Bookmark this list and come back to it, and you’re sure to foster a reputation as the co-worker who can always get an awesome conversation started.