70 Better Get-to-Know-You Questions to Use at Work
There’s a popular notion that your colleagues at work are not your friends. Still, it is important to build strong relationships with the people you work with, since this can help improve your efficiency at work and increase your job satisfaction.
Actually, a report by TinyPulse shows that one of the most important things to employees is the people they work with.
Another survey carried out in Belgium also reported that 99% of the respondents claimed that positive relationships with the people they work with are very important.
This highlights the importance of strong bonds between colleagues.
The better the bonds between you and your colleagues, the happier everyone will be at work, the more willing everyone will be willing to go the extra mile for the rest of the team, and the easier it is to resolve any workplace conflicts.
In order to build strong bonds with your colleagues, you first need to get to know them.
This is where get-to-know-you questions come in handy.
Whether you just got hired in a new company, or have been around for some time but you just realized you hardly know anything about the people you work with, get-to-know-you questions will help you learn more about your colleagues and help you build stronger bonds with them.
If you are wondering what questions to ask your colleagues without resorting to the clichéd questions like what someone would carry with them if they were stranded on a desert island, today is your lucky day.
We have compiled for you a list of 70 better get-to-know-you questions that will allow you to bond with your colleagues on a whole new level.
Some of the questions in this list are deep and poignant, while others are fun and lighthearted.
Considering that this is quite a big list, I’ve broken this resource down into different sections to make it easier for you to use.
PROFESSIONALLY ORIENTED QUESTIONS
1. What do you like most about your career?
This question gives you insights into what your colleagues consider to be the best thing about their career. It helps you learn what makes them tick.
2. Are you currently working on any professional skill?
Anyone who wants to advance their career is probably working on a certain skill that will help them get where they want.
Asking this question allows you to learn what your colleague is interested in and the direction they would like their career to take.
3. What was your first job?
This is a great question to help you bond with your colleagues. You will be surprised to learn that your software engineer colleague first worked as a pool cleaner.
4. How did you end up in this career?
People’s professional lives do not always follow a direct trajectory.
Probably that guy who works as a graphics designer first started as an accountant before changing their career.
Hearing about the different circumstances that influenced their choice of career is a great way to learn about your colleagues.
5. What career goals are you working towards?
Almost everyone has some career goals they are trying to achieve.
This question helps you learn what your colleague is striving for, and what they consider to be important for their career.
6. If you had a chance to build your own company from scratch, what are the greatest values you’d focus on?
This question gives you a glimpse into what your colleague believes is important for long lasting success.
It gives you insights about the kind of person they are, both personally and professionally.
7. Which trait do you admire most in others?
When someone talks about the traits they admire in others, they also give you a glimpse into their own unique traits.
8. If you were not in this job, what would you be doing?
Most people have other interests apart from their current line of work. Asking this question allows you to find out what other things your colleagues are interested in.
9. Which are the best perks you have ever been given at a job?
Speaking about the best job perks is a great way to learn about the jobs your colleague has previously held and to know what kind of perks other companies out there offer their employees.
However, if you are the boss, avoid asking this question, since it can lead to awkward conversations.
10. If you could remove one thing from your daily schedule, what would you remove and why?
Everyone has the little (or big) things that annoy them about their daily schedule.
Talking about these annoyances is a great way to learn more about your colleague.
11. If you had a chance to dedicate the next year to only one project, what would it be?
This question is a great way to learn what kind of work your colleagues love.
12. How do you relieve stress?
Even if you work in your dream job, work-related stress is sometimes hard to avoid.
Talking about the different ways you use to unwind after work is a great way to bond with your colleagues.
13. How do you stay motivated?
Work can sometimes be difficult, and everyone has their own ways of keeping themselves going even when things are tough.
How do your colleagues do it? Coffee? Their children? Knowing that rent is coming up?
14. What is one crazy goal you want to achieve within your lifetime?
This question allows you to learn about your colleagues wildest dreams, and gives you an idea of what is important to them in life.
15. What are planning to do once you retire?
After retirement, most people finally get the chance to focus on doing what they love.
This question allows you to find out about your colleagues’ interests outside work.
However, it’s good to note that not everyone will be willing to answer this question.
16. If you could wake up tomorrow with a new skill, what would it be?
Asking this question allows you to learn about the aspirations of your colleagues, and the things they want to be able to do in life.
17. What’s your go-to productivity hack?
Everyone has a tactic they use to keep themselves productive.
What tactics do your colleagues use? In addition to learning more about your colleague, with this question, you might also learn about some new ways to improve your productivity.
18. What do you want to be the pinnacle of your professional life?
This question gives you insights about your colleagues’ long term plans.
Do they want to rise to the position of CEO? Do they want to remain employed, or do they plan to quit and start their own business? Do they see themselves going into a different career path?
19. What’s the most interesting thing you’re currently working on?
You might work for the same company, but you might not be aware what your colleague’s work entails.
Asking this question allows you to learn the contribution your workmates make to the company.
20. What personality trait has been most instrumental to your success?
This question allows you to learn about your workmate’s personality, and how this personality influences their work and their character.
21. If you had the chance to add one thing to this office, what would you add?
This question allows you to find what your colleagues are dissatisfied with in the office. If you are the boss, asking this question is a great way to learn what improvements you need to make within the office.
22. In what situations would I come to you for something?
If you don’t know what exactly someone does within the company, this is a great way to ask about their work without directly asking what they do.
The questions in this section allow you to learn more about who a person is beyond who they are in the office.
23. Which book are your reading currently?
The kind of books a person give you an idea of the kind of person they are and the things they are interested in.
If you are a reader yourself, you might even get to swap books, which is a great way of creating bonds with others.
24. Do you prefer getting active or relaxing during your free time?
This question allows you to find about a person’s life outside the office without trying to dig too much into their personal life.
25. Who’s that one person you really admire?
Knowing the kind of people someone has a high regard for helps you understand the person’s values and influences, as well as their general outlook on life.
26. If you had a chance to write a book about your life, what would it be titled?
This question also allows you to learn about a person’s outlook on life, and to learn about some of the significant experiences they have had in life.
27. Growing up, who has had the most influence on your life?
We all have people that helped shape us into the people we are today.
This could be our parents, guardians, a teacher, a sports coach, someone we admire, and so on.
This question helps you understand why your colleague is the person they are today.
28. What is your favorite quote?
Asking about a person’s favorite quote allows you to get a deeper understanding of the person’s point of view and what they consider important in life.
29. What was your favorite band in your teens?
This is a lighthearted question that allows you to learn more about a person’s younger years. You might even discover that both of you loved the same band.
30. Have you visited any new places recently?
Talking about your new experiences is a wonderful way to build bonds with other people.
What’s more, you might also learn about some interesting place you might want to visit.
31. What’s your favorite family tradition?
Asking this question allows you to get a deeper look into your colleague’s family heritage, their traditions, and the things they value as a family.
32. What’s the first thing you bought with your first salary?
When we get our first salary, most of us buy that thing we have been always been longing for since our younger days.
Asking this question allows you to discover the things your colleague valued when they were younger.
This question also brings about some nostalgia, which can help you and your colleague form deeper bonds.
33. What’s that thing you have never done before that you want to do in the next one year?
This question allows you to learn more about your colleagues’ dreams and aspirations.
34. Have you had your 15 minutes of fame yet?
This is a lighthearted question that allows you to learn about that moment your colleague got to enjoy a short lived moment of fame, such as appearing on TV or in the newspaper.
35. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
With this question, you are basically asking your coworker to mention a piece of wisdom they have ever received that they consider to be the most valuable.
The question helps you understand what your colleague considers as valuable.
36. Do you collect anything?
Instead of asking the cliché “What are your hobbies?” this is a much better question to get to learn about a person’s interest.
You might be surprised to learn that your colleague collects things like postcards, butterflies, stamps, or various antiques.
37. Who inspires you?
Whether their source of inspiration is a family member, an artist, or a renowned entrepreneur, this question can help you learn more about your coworker’s personality.
38. What’s the most memorable place you have ever visited?
This question will help you learn more about your colleague’s travel habits.
Talking about the awesome places people have visited helps people build a connection.
What’s more, you might learn about some great place you need to visit.
39. Which was the most memorable concern you ever went to?
This question gives you insights into the fun side of your coworkers. You might even discover that you like the same kind of music.
40. What are your passions?
This is another wonderful question when you want to learn more about your coworkers.
You might be surprised to learn that your colleague, who works in HR, is really passionate about programming.
41. What’s the most extraordinary thing you’ve ever done?
Your quiet coworker might have swam with sharks, gone skydiving or even bungee jumped over the Victoria Falls, but you’ll never find out if you never ask.
42. Do you have a secret talent?
There’s more to people than what they do at work. The procurement assistant might be a motorcycle racer over the weekend. That funny guy from the IT department might be a fantastic piano player.
43. If you could have dinner with four people, alive or dead, who would it be?
When answering this question, your colleagues will need to explain their answers, and in doing so, they will give you a deeper look into their personalities.
This question great for kick-starting very engaging conversations.
44. During your childhood, what did you want to become once you grew up?
This question will help you understand your colleague’s childhood interests and how they shaped the person they are today.
Talking about the deviation from what they wanted to be to what they are today can also make for nice conversation.
45. What’s your favorite memory from the last one year?
This question gives you a glimpse into the kinds of things that your coworkers like, the kind of things that make them happy.
FUN AND RANDOM QUESTIONS
This section contains lighthearted, unexpected, and fun questions that are great for striking up conversations without trying so much to dig into the personal life of the other person.
46. How would you stay alive during a zombie apocalypse?
This question will lead to very interesting answers and may stir up quite a debate. It will also show you how prepared your coworkers are in case of a real-life disaster.
47. If you had the chance to do away with one piece of modern technology, what would you abolish, and why?
Each of us has a piece of technology we hate. For instance, I dislike smartphones because of how they always seem to take our attention from the current moment. You might hear some very unexpected answers to this question.
48. What animal would you keep as a pet if all animals were tame?
A pet lion? A bet giraffe? A pet hippo? What would your coworker keep if they had the chance?
49. If you found yourself alone in the lift with the president, what would you tell him?
What would your colleague say in such a situation? Would they praise the president? Scold him maybe? This is a great way to learn what your coworkers think about your country’s top leader.
50. If you could have someone to help you with one household chore for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Everyone has a chore that they really hate. Which one drives your coworker crazy?
51. If you collected a briefcase with $1 million, would you keep it?
This gives you a glimpse into the moral compass of your colleague. Would they really keep the money? Do they think they could get away with it? If they wouldn’t keep it, what would they do?
52. If you could commit one crime and get away with it, what would it be?
Everyone has a dark side. You have probably fantasized about things you really wouldn’t do. Well, what if you had a chance to get away with one thing.
This question allows you to explore the dark side of human nature.
53. If you had the chance to bring someone from the dead, who would you bring back?
This question will lead to some interesting answers as people discuss about the people they would want to bring back to life and why.
54. If you were to be given a super power of your choice, what would it be?
There’s just so many answers to choose from. Invisibility? Ability to fly? Breathing underwater? Lightning speed? X-ray vision? Once your colleague has made a choice, have them explain the reason behind their choice.
55. You can become one character from Harry Potter. Who would you pick?
What would your colleague opt for? The good Harry or the evil Lord Voldemort?
56. If you had to choose between a photographic memory and an extremely high IQ, what would you choose?
This fun question can give you insights about your colleague’s outlook on life. Which of the two do they think is more important?
57. Would rather never be able to take an airplane again, or be denied access to the internet?
Both the internet and airplanes allow you to explore more of the world. How does your colleague prefer to do their exploration? Physically or digitally?
58. Would you rather explore the depths of the ocean or a new planet?
Both these places hold mysteries we have not been able to uncover. Which of the two is more interesting?
59. Do you have a favorite sports team?
This is a classic question that uncovers people’s interests and can lead to endless conversation.
60. If you could be friends with a famous person, who would it be?
The people you keep in your circle (even in a hypothetical situation) say a lot about the kind of person you are.
61. If had the ability to time travel, would you go to the future or the past?
What kind of person is your colleague? Would they rather move forward and see what the future holds, or would they rather go back in time and change the past?
62. If you could get the answer to any question, what question would you ask?
This is a great way for getting your colleagues to open up about what they consider to be the biggest unanswered question in their life.
63. If you could speak a new language by tomorrow, which would it be?
This question can lead to discussions about places people have traveled to, where they would like to live, cultures, and so on.
64. If you could change one historical event, what would it be?
Given such a power, whatever a person chooses to change gives insights into the kind of things that person values fundamentally.
65. If you were the only person remaining on earth, what would you do?
This hypothetical question forces a person to think about what they would do if they had the freedom to do anything in the world.
66. Do you have any irrational fear?
Many of us have some baseless fears. Do you have any? This question is a great way to learn more about your coworkers’ quirks.
67. Ever met any famous person?
This is a fun question that allows you to learn more about the people your colleagues admire and to listen to their funny stories about the time they met one of these people.
68. What would you do if you won the lottery?
This is something everyone has probably fantasized about. If you received a windfall, what would you do? Quit your job? Invest? Start traveling the world?
69. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
This is the perfect question if you want to learn about your colleague’s wilder side. However, this question should only be asked if you have something of a bond between you and the colleague.
70. If you were king in your own country, what’s the first law you would put in place?
If you were the sole authority, how would you use your power? Would you use it for good or for bad? You will definitely hear some interesting answers from this question.
The questions covered in this list are great for sparking conversations and will allow you to know more about your coworkers and build bonds that will lead to strong working relationships.
All you need to do now is to get out and start using the questions every to learn more about your colleagues.
However, don’t use all of them at once, since it will come across as though you are interviewing your colleagues, and this will achieve the opposite of what you are trying to do.
To make it even easier for you to use this resource, why not bookmark it and come back to it whenever you need to start a conversation with a coworker?
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