What are Get-To-Know-You Questions? (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 8 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Getting to know your colleagues better can be beneficial for both you and your colleagues. Engaging with your colleagues on a personal level can improve teamwork and promote collaboration. Learning some get-to-know-you questions can help you connect with your colleagues. In this article, we explain what get-to-know-you questions are, discuss the importance of bonding with your colleagues, and share 70 different examples that you can start putting into practice.

Related: What is a Good Attitude at Work and Ways to Improve Yours

What are get-to-know-you questions?

Get-to-know-you questions are open-ended questions that help you uncover more about who your colleagues are and their interests. Depending on whom you're speaking to and how comfortable you are, these questions can be casual or more in-depth. These questions can help start a conversation with a new employee or help you develop a stronger bond with existing coworkers.

Why are questions that help you get to know someone important?

When you ask people get-to-know-you questions, you can show that you're interested in getting to know them better. Developing professional relationships with your colleagues not only makes your time at work more enjoyable, but it can also help improve your job performance. Friendly working relationships can lead to a higher level of cooperation in the workplace and can help with your confidence. When you feel comfortable around your peers, you can feel more confident speaking up and taking risks.

If you're a leader, engaging with your team members can help build a more positive work environment. When you invest time into learning more about individuals on your team, you're more likely to gain their trust. It can also help increase an employee's sense of belonging and improve how much they engage in company meetings or workshops, which can help build a stronger team.

Related: How to Give Constructive Criticism in the Workplace (With Tips)

How to ask personal questions

Follow these steps to properly ask personal questions to help you learn more about your colleagues:

1. Be respectful and appropriate

One important factor in getting to know your colleagues better is asking questions that are both respectful and appropriate. It's best to avoid asking questions that are too personal. If you're unsure if a question is appropriate, consider how you would feel if someone were to ask you the same question. If it could potentially make you feel uncomfortable, you can consider refraining from asking it.

2. Keep time and place in mind

Another important thing to keep in mind is knowing the right time and place to appropriately ask your questions. For instance, you wouldn't want to interrupt a meeting to ask the person next to you a question about their hobbies. You can consider striking up a conversation with them at the start of the meeting before everyone has arrived.

3. Be natural

Ideally, you want conversations to flow naturally and not feel forced. To help you with this, you can try surveying the room and your surroundings for talking points. For example, if you see a colleague in the kitchen and notice they have a superhero on their mug, you could try complimenting them on it and initiating a conversation around superheroes. Alternatively, if a coworker has photos displayed on their desk, you could initiate a conversation based on the photos.

Related: How to Build Relationships at Work: A Step-by-Step Guide

Great questions you can ask to get to know your coworkers better

Bonding with your colleagues at work is important, but it can take time. Whether you're looking to learn more about someone's career goals, uncover someone's hobbies or get to know someone on a deeper level, we've compiled a list of questions to help you do so. Below are 70 great example questions that you can start asking your coworkers in person or online, if you work remotely:

Career-focused questions

One of the easiest starting points to getting to know a colleague better is to focus on something that is relevant to both of you, like your career. Career-related questions are helpful for when you're trying to strike up a conversation with a new hire. They also come in handy when you're trying it initiate small talk with some existing, but unfamiliar colleagues whilst waiting for the lift or for a meeting to start. Here are some examples:

  1. What's your job title?

  2. What are your job responsibilities?

  3. How long have you been with the company for?

  4. Who inspires you?

  5. Where did you work before this position?

  6. What's been your best career move to date?

  7. What's been your worst career move to date?

  8. What's one thing you're good at?

  9. What's something you find challenging about your work?

  10. Who do you look up to within the company?

  11. What motivates you?

  12. What's a skill you'd like to improve on?

  13. If you could have a career in anything, what would it be?

  14. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

  15. What career advice would you pass on to the next generation?

  16. What qualities do you admire in a boss?

Hobby or interest-related questions

Hobby-focused questions are a useful way to identify someone's interests. By asking the below questions, you glean more information about a person's likes and dislikes. It also helps you find some common ground to help you initiate a proper dialogue. In the process, you can discover that you share similar interests with someone you least expected. Here are some examples for you to reference:

  1. Do you have any hidden talents?

  2. What do you like to do in your spare time?

  3. What's your favourite thing to do at the weekend?

  4. What kind of music do you like?

  5. What's the best concert you've ever been to?

  6. Do you like travelling?

  7. What's the best place you've travelled to?

  8. Do you have any vacations planned?

  9. Do you like to read?

  10. Are you reading anything right now?

  11. What genre of books do you prefer?

  12. What's your favourite film?

  13. Are you a sports fan?

  14. Who are you favourite sports teams?

  15. Do you play any sports?

  16. Have you ever met anyone famous?

  17. What show are you currently binge-watching?

  18. If you could play an instrument, what would it be?

  19. Do you like roller coasters?

  20. Are you interested in podcasts?

  21. Do you have any pets?

  22. What's your favourite food?

  23. Are you a coffee or tea person?

  24. Are you a morning person or do you prefer to sleep in?

  25. Do you prefer coffee or tea?

  26. Can you speak any other languages?

  27. What's your favourite season?

Unconventional questions

Asking your fellow coworkers unusual questions can help you learn more interesting things about them. Surprising a colleague with an unconventional question can catch them off-guard, but you're bound to share some laughs over the responses.

  1. What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?

  2. If you could time-travel, which period of time would you travel to?

  3. Which historical figure would you most like to meet?

  4. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?

  5. If you were an animal, which animal would you be and why?

  6. If you could possess a super natural ability, what would it be?

  7. Which character from a movie do you relate to the most?

  8. If you could invite a celebrity to dinner, dead or alive, who would it be?

  9. What's the best compliment you've ever received?

  10. If you could choose to never do one specific chore again, what would it be?

  11. If you were a brand, what would your slogan be?

Related: Tips for Business Networking to Help You Find Job Opportunities

In-depth questions:

Once you've gotten to know someone a little better by uncovering their hobbies and learning more about their career goals, you can yearn for a more meaningful connection. To do so, you can try asking questions about your coworker's family. This can help build a stronger connection between the two of you as it creates an opportunity for you both to share stories centred on your families. You can also ask specific questions to learn more about a colleague's values, helping you gain insight into what truly matters to them.

  1. What's your favourite way to spend time with your family?

  2. What's your favourite holiday to spend with family?

  3. What's your family's favourite tradition?

  4. Growing up, were you close with your family?

  5. How many siblings do you have?

  6. What was it like growing up with [number] siblings?

  7. Who are you closest to in your family?

  8. What's something you're proud of?

  9. What's your biggest fear?

  10. What's your favourite memory?

  11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

  12. How would your friends describe you?

  13. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

  14. What's your idea of a perfect day?

  15. What's one of your guilty pleasures?

  16. What's your number one pet peeve?

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