150 Ice breaker questions for virtual meetings
Last updated on: September 14, 2022
How much does a polar bear weigh? Enough to break the ice.
Despite what you might think, ice breaker questions really don’t have to be lame.
If you have recently started working remotely and are still getting used to virtual meetings and work from anywhere philosophy, ice breaker questions might be a welcome and fun way to ease the participants into the meeting.
And, as usual, we got your back!
In this blog post, first, we’ll define ice breaker questions.
Then, we’ll consider their importance for virtual meetings and give you some advice on how to use these questions effectively.
In the end, we’ll give you a list of 150 ice breaker questions.
So, let’s break that ice!
What are ice breaker questions?
Ice breaker questions are quick questions designed to help ease any tension among the meeting participants.
These questions should be engaging and inspiring and should become a standard part of your virtual meeting routine.
However, they should not last longer than 5 minutes — no one likes it when meetings (virtual or in-person) drag on for more than necessary.
Why do we need ice breakers for virtual meetings?
According to Pumble’s Meeting statistics (2022), professionals spend more than half of their workweek in meetings.
That is precisely why facilitators should make sure that their meetings are as palatable as possible — and this is where ice breakers come to the scene.
Ice breaker questions are important and useful in virtual meetings, especially for those who fear facilitating meetings.
Among other things, these fun questions at the beginning of a virtual meeting can help you:
- Ease any tensions,
- Overcome awkwardness in virtual meetings,
- Bond with your team during welcome meetings, training sessions, and events,
- Break down any communication barriers, and
- Warm up the atmosphere to engage every participant.
How to run effective virtual ice breaker sessions?
It’s not enough to decide to incorporate ice breakers into your virtual meetings — you need to know how best to implement them.
So, here are 5 steps that will help you with your ice breaker sessions.
Step #1: Include ice breakers into your meeting agenda
Don’t ambush your coworkers with (weird) ice breaker questions.
You don’t have to (and really shouldn’t) share the exact questions with your team beforehand — just make sure you put an ice breaker session action item at the beginning of the meeting agenda.
Step #2: Volunteer to go first
The best way to break the ice with your ice breakers is to lead by example and answer a question first.
By doing that, you’ll show your coworkers that you’re ready to get vulnerable, open, or even weird with them (depending on the ice breaker question).
It’s the quickest way to virtually bond with your colleagues.
Step #3: Call out the next person to answer
After you have answered your question, feel free to call out the next person to answer one of the questions you’ve prepared.
Step #4: Make the ice breaker session short and sweet
You should start with easy, casual questions, and then go to the “heavy”, awkward ones, if the overall atmosphere allows it.
However, don’t forget to keep this part of the meeting short — not longer than 5 minutes.
If you allow the warm-up part to get out of your hands, you won’t be able to follow your meeting schedule, which might interrupt your daily activities.
Step #5: If your team is big, split it up into smaller groups
In line with the previous step, to make your ice breaker sessions short, you have to divide your team into smaller groups (if it counts more than 15 members).
Otherwise, you’re running the risk of lengthening this warm-up session and, consequently, the meeting.
Now that we’ve seen what the best way to run ice breaker sessions is, it’s time we give you the list of the warmest of all ice breakers.
Categories of ice breaker questions for virtual meetings
To make it easier for you to choose the right ice breakers, we’ll divide them into several categories:
- Casual ice breakers
- Pop-culture ice breakers
- Food- and drink-related ice breakers
- Thought-provoking ice breakers
- Awkward ice breakers
- “Would you rather” ice breakers
- “If you could” ice breakers
Let’s dive right into the questions!
Casual ice breaker questions for virtual meetings
If you need a unique and exciting way to introduce a new team member, look no further than these casual ice breakers for virtual meetings.
They will help you get your teammates to open up while discussing simple topics and bonding.
- Are you a morning or an evening person?
- Are you a cat person or a dog person?
- Which fashion decade do you like the most?
- What does your dream house look like?
- What city would you like to live in for a year?
- Are you an extrovert or an introvert?
- Do you prefer smaller groups or larger crowds?
- What is your guilty pleasure?
- What is your favorite holiday?
- What is your best Halloween costume so far?
- What is your favorite flower or plant?
- Do you prefer the seaside or the mountains?
- Do you collect anything?
- Who is the person from your childhood you admire the most?
- What is the sport you don’t understand the rules to?
- What’s your favorite sport?
- What is your favorite emoji?
- What is the farthest you have traveled?
- How many cities have you lived in?
- What is the most beautiful place within a 30-minute drive from your home?
- What is your favorite piece of clothing?
- What do you like to do on rainy days?
Pop-culture ice breaker questions
What better way to bond with your coworkers than over a common favorite movie or a band? You might even end up going to a concert or movies together!
So here’s the list of questions you might want to try out with your team in your next virtual meeting:
- With what famous person would you like to get stuck in an elevator?
- What is your favorite book?
- Who is your favorite writer or poet?
- What is the last book you read?
- What movie would you recommend as your all-time favorite?
- What one movie you love would you like to watch for the first time again?
- What one song you love would you like to hear for the first time again?
- What TV program could you watch repeatedly?
- What is your favorite streaming service (Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon, Hulu, etc.)?
- What is your favorite band?
- What is one song that you would never get tired of listening to?
- What was your favorite song in high school?
- What’s the last movie you saw?
- Who was your teenage celebrity crush?
- What kind of music did you listen to 10 years ago?
- What celebrity’s phone number would you like to get?
- What is your favorite guilty pleasure song?
- What is your favorite guilty pleasure movie?
- What is your favorite guilty pleasure TV show?
- Who would you choose to play you in a movie?
- What is your life’s theme song?
- What celebrity do you look like?
- Which sitcom would you like to play a role in?
- What is your go-to song at karaoke?
- What are your favorite podcasts?
- Which famous person, dead or alive, would you like to have dinner with?
Food- and drink-related ice breaker questions
Regardless of the part of the world we live in, our favorite sports and movies, or our hobbies, all of us have something in common — we need food and water.
So, what better shortcut to finding the common ground with our colleagues than over food and drink?
For that quest, we have some questions that might give you a nudge in the right direction.
- What new ice cream flavor would you create if you could?
- Would you try a savory ice cream (e.g. tzatziki ice cream)?
- What is your favorite food?
- What’s your favorite dessert?
- What is your favorite drink?
- What’s your favorite meal?
- Are you a coffee or a tea person?
- Which nation, in your opinion, has the best cuisine?
- Do you like to cook?
- Do you like to bake?
- Do you prefer fruits or vegetables?
- Do you prefer wine or beer?
- What is your favorite spice?
- What is your favorite cocktail?
- Bacon or avocado?
- How do you like your eggs?
- Mashed potatoes or French fries?
- Pizza or pasta?
- What is your favorite comfort food?
- What is your favorite family recipe?
Thought-provoking ice breaker questions
If you need a little mental exercise at the beginning of your virtual meeting, why not grease the brain wheels with these thought-provoking ice breaker questions?
They might inspire your coworkers to think more creatively, which is proven to further increase their productivity.
- What century would you live in, if you could choose?
- Do you prefer the past or the future?
- If your life were turned into a movie, what genre would it be?
- What fictional family would you prefer to be a member of?
- What is something you absolutely need?
- What 3 things would you bring on a desert island with you?
- Which superpower is overrated?
- Which superpower is underrated?
- If you were a hero/heroine in a story, what tragic flaw would you have to overcome?
- What language would you like to speak as a mother tongue?
- In which state would you like to have been born?
- What assumptions do people usually make about you?
- What one item would you grab if your house burst into flames?
- What fictional world would you like to visit?
- What famous picture would you like to find yourself on?
- Would you say soap is clean or dirty?
- Who is the most interesting person you have ever met and had a conversation with?
- Who do you sometimes compare yourself to?
- What are you able to do now that you couldn’t a year ago?
- Which is worse — failing or never trying?
- What is your favorite sound?
- What will the world be like in 300 years, in your opinion?
Awkward ice breaker questions
Ordinary questions don’t cut the mustard anymore?
Don’t worry, for those more adventurous among you, we have a special challenge.
Instead of awkward silence, try awkward ice breaker questions.
- What’s the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?
- What’s the strangest drink you’ve ever tried?
- What band or artist would you like to play at your funeral?
- What’s the weirdest haircut you ever had?
- What would someone who doesn’t know you think about you from looking at your trash?
- What’s the strangest food combination you enjoy that other people find repulsive?
- Who are 3 people you would want on your team in case of a zombie apocalypse?
- If aliens landed on our planet tomorrow and asked you to join them, would you go?
- If you had to eat nothing but pizza for the rest of your life, what toppings would you choose?
- What songs would be played repeatedly in hell?
- Would you rather wear dirty socks for a month or dirty underwear for a week?
- What smell do you hate but others don’t mind?
- Would you rather be sweaty forever or itchy forever?
- If you were not required to work, how would you spend your free time?
- What would you eat as your final supper if you were on death row?
- What would you purchase right away if you won the lottery?
- The year is 2050 and you’re writing your autobiography. What is the title?
- What person(s) would you torment if you were a ghost?
- Can you show us your phone wallpaper?
- Can you show us your playlist history (on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, etc.)?
Would you rather ice breaker questions
Another fun way to start virtual meetings is with a set of “Would you rather” questions.
By giving the participants two options to choose from, these questions offer a more structured beginning to this warm-up activity.
If you’re a fan of somewhat tough and weird questions, this is the question set for you and your team.
- Would you rather give up candy or salty snacks?
- Would you rather drink lemonade instead of water for the rest of your life or eat fish instead of bread?
- Would you rather live in a perpetual winter or a perpetual summer?
- Would you rather read quickly or write quickly?
- Would you rather be invisible or immortal?
- Would you rather live underwater (in a submarine) or in a spaceship?
- Would you rather give up Instagram or Netflix?
- Would you rather have telekinesis or telepathy?
- Would you rather your friends be able to read your thoughts or have access to your Internet history?
- Would you rather lose your sense of smell or your hearing?
- Would you rather live a long boring life or a short amazing life?
- Would you rather have the power to fly or teleport yourself?
- Would you rather travel to the North Pole or Australia?
- Would you rather travel the world or live in your dream house?
- Would you rather be mega rich or have superpowers?
- Would you rather be on a diet for the rest of your life or live without the internet?
- Would you rather be a vampire or a mermaid/merman?
- Would you rather be able to spot any lie or get away with any lie you tell?
- Would you rather be the richest or the most intelligent person in the world?
- Would you rather be an Olympic medal winner or a Nobel Prize winner?
If you could ice breaker questions
This set is for all of you who like hypothetical situations which make you think hard.
The weirder the question, the better.
You might be surprised with what you’ll learn about your coworkers.
- If you could live anywhere on the planet, where would it be?
- If you could be any animal, which one would you be?
- If you could relive one year of your life, what year would you choose?
- If you could eat only one fruit for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- If you could instantly learn a language, what would it be?
- If you could instantly become an expert in something, what field would you choose?
- If you could retire tomorrow, where would you live?
- If you could clone yourself, what would you be doing right now?
- If you could eat anything from anywhere on the planet, what food would it be?
- If you could choose your own nickname, what would it be?
- If you could live in any TV show universe, which one would you prefer?
- If you could live on any planet, what would it be?
- If you could read just one person’s mind for a day, who would it be?
- If you could, would you have a personal trainer, chef, or housekeeper?
- If you could instantly become an expert in playing one instrument, what would it be?
- If you could have a song play any time you enter the room, what would it be?
- If you could change any historic event, what would it be?
- If you could rewrite any end of the movie/book/TV show, what would it be?
- If you could have the credit for creating any piece of art, what would you choose?
- If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self?
Wrapping up: Ice breaker questions are a must for your next virtual meeting
Your next virtual meeting need not start in medias res.
Consider incorporating ice breaker questions into your meeting agenda, if you want to:
- Overcome the awkwardness of every meeting’s beginning,
- Bond with your coworkers,
- Create a relaxed atmosphere, and
- Ease any tensions.
We’ve even divided these ice breakers into categories, so you can more easily choose what suits your team’s sensibility.
So, next time you start your meeting, forget about those boring questions, such as How are you? or How was your weekend? and dive into this treasure trove of ice breakers.
✉️ What about you? Do you use ice breaker questions at the start of your virtual meetings? Do you have any questions you might add to our list? Share your experience and tips at firstname.lastname@example.org and we may include your answers in this or future posts. And, if you liked this blog post and found it useful, share it with someone you think would also benefit from it.