75 Get-to-Know-You Questions For The Workplace

By Chris Kolmar - Jun. 23, 2022
Articles In Life At Work Guide

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Getting to know your colleagues is not only important, but also a necessary part of great leadership. Facilitating discussions where employees and employers are encouraged to share and listen has numerous benefits for everyone involved.

We’ll go over some of the incredible benefits of get-to-know-you questions, along with some of the best questions to ask for business-purposes, to get more personal, or just for fun.

Key Takeaways:

  • Asking (and answering) these questions is a mark of someone who works well with others and is a real team player.

  • Whether you’re a new hire or you’ve been around for a while, get-to-know-you questions can be used in a variety of ways to help build great relationships with your coworkers.

  • It’s not about being extravagant or clever; it’s about taking the time to consider the lives of those around you, even in small ways.

The long list of get to know you questions for the workplace.

75 Great Questions to Get to Know People at Work

  1. Business-related questions: These are some great questions to ask if you want to generate work-related conversations or get to know all about the working preferences of those around you.

    • What do you do at [company name]?

    • What’s your favorite part of your job?

    • Who has inspired your career path most in your life?

    • What’s one professional skill you’ve nailed?

    • What’s one professional skill you’re working on building?

    • What values guide your career path?

    • What’s one professional goal you have?

    • How do you like to start your workday?

    • Where do you feel really in your element at work?

    • What’s one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned in your career?

    • What trait of yours most helps you succeed in the business world?

    • What was your first job?

    • Are you most productive in the morning, the afternoon, or at night?

    • What was the worst job you’ve ever had, and why?

    • What’s the hardest part about your job?

    • Where do you see yourself in five years?

    • What’s a work lesson you’ve had to learn the hard way?

    • What traits do you most like to see in colleagues and managers?

    • If you could add anything to this workplace, what would it be?

    • What motivates you

    • How do you stay productive during the workday?

    • What professional accomplishment of yours are you most proud of?

    • Do you have any professional mentors?

    • In what ways do you demonstrate leadership at work?

    • If you had to choose a different career, what would it be?

  2. Personal questions: These questions are a bit more personal (but still wholly appropriate for work). These can help you get a better understanding of your colleagues’ unique personalities.

    • How do you like to relax and unwind after your workday?

    • What’s a small moment in your daily life when you feel completely at peace?

    • What do you do for fun?

    • Where did you go to college (or high school, trade school, etc.)?

    • What’s your favorite place you’ve ever visited?

    • What are some of your favorite books?

    • What TV shows are you watching right now?

    • What’s your favorite album?

    • What’s your favorite place locally?

    • What’s your favorite memory?

    • What’s the best show you’ve ever been to?

    • What are some of your hobbies?

    • If you could go back in time ten years and tell yourself something, what would you say?

    • What would be the title of your memoir?

    • What songs define your life?

    • What job did you want to have when you were younger?

    • What was your favorite subject in school?

    • What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?

    • What’s one habit you’re trying to form (or un-form)?

    • What are you really good at?

    • What are you not very good at?

    • Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?

    • Do you prefer coffee or tea?

    • What’s your idea of a perfect getaway?

    • What’s something you do to cheer yourself up on a bad day?

  3. Fun questions: These questions are a bit more quirky and fun. They can help your team get thinking a bit more creatively while learning about others’ preferences and opinions.

    • What animal best represents you?

    • If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

    • What’s one thing most people assume about you that isn’t true?

    • If you had to pick a new name for yourself, what would it be?

    • What’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen?

    • If you could have any superpower, which would you pick?

    • If you could meet and have dinner with anyone who’s ever lived, who would it be?

    • Do you believe in aliens?

    • What’s your favorite season?

    • What’s your favorite holiday?

    • What’s your biggest pet peeve?

    • What’s your least favorite question to answer?

    • What app do you use the most?

    • What’s your favorite dessert?

    • >What’s your favorite restaurant in the area?

    • What fashion trend do you regret participating in?

    • What’s your funniest “awkward moment” story?

    • What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?

    • What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

    • What do your weekends look like?

    • What’s on your bucket list?

    • Are you an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert?

    • Do you believe in astrology?

    • Do you have any hidden talents?

    • What fictional character do you most identify with?

What Are Get-to-Know-You Questions?

Get-to-know-you questions are ice-breaker questions that can be used to initiate conversations with your team. Slowly but surely, get-to-know-you questions help you better understand the life and experiences of the people around you.

  • Asking these kinds of questions can be a great bonding experience, as each person walks away sharing a bit about themselves and learning a bit about other people.

  • These questions aim to get conversation flowing and create an atmosphere where each person feels as though their voice is heard. These questions can be about work, out-of-work life, or anything really, so long as the topic is appropriate for a work setting.

  • The types of questions you ask will depend on your workplace and how it’s run. A more casual workplace may opt for fun, off-the-wall questions that generate creativity, whereas a more formal office may choose serious, work-related questions that allow each individual to think about how their professional aims align with those of the company.

Why Are Get-to-Know-You Questions Important?

Getting to know the people around you, in any setting, is one of the most important and powerful ways to expand your perspective. When you genuinely listen to others and share honestly about yourself in exchange, you get further out of your own “bubble” and broaden the horizons of your mind.

  1. Getting to know others can amplify the collaborative power you hold. Taking the time to You will never be completely alone in your work life. You will always have to consider other people’s ideas and perspectives, and (if you do it right) you’ll be better off for it.

  2. Helps cultivate great listening skills. This is one of the most invaluable things you can do in your work life and your out-of-work life. Get-to-know-you questions can be considered simple, straightforward practice for promoting active listening skills. When your team feels listened to, productivity and creativity will soar.

  3. Opens communication and cultivates a great company culture. The era of company team members feeling like voiceless, faceless worker bees is slowly fading behind us. The modern workplace should understand the value of its employees’ voices and perspectives.

  4. Can also be helpful for actually getting to know yourself These questions make you consider how you can present yourself in a way that is both personal and professional.

People love being asked questions about themselves and being genuinely listened to. The combination of low-stakes listening and sharing in get-to-know-you questions helps you bond with your coworkers and build trust, along with a great working relationship.

Thinking about good answers may help you answer some of the more open-ended interview questions, such as the dreaded “tell me about yourself” or the intimidating “is there anything else I should know about you?

How to Ask Get-to-Know-You Questions

When it comes to fitting get-to-know-you questions into casual, everyday conversation, the key is to make it as natural as possible. Jamming full questions into conversations out of the blue (or using them to start up conversations unrelated to context) comes off as a bit awkward, conversationally.

If you’d like to utilize these questions in your everyday interactions, try finding moments when you can naturally bring the questions up. For instance, someone may make a comment related to a question you have (which you can then naturally transition to), or you may see some pictures or decorations on their cubicle that you could ask about.

Another great strategy – and the one we recommend – is to work these questions into daily or weekly meetings. They work best for morning meetings or at the very beginnings of meetings. They help generate conversation and get ideas flowing to warm up for more business-related discussions.

If you’d like, you could even involve your team in the question-generating effort by asking them to come up with questions of their own for future meetings. Both question-answering and question-asking can prove to be critical skills in business.

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Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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