Updated: February 13, 2024

102 Best Networking Icebreaker Questions For Work in 2024

You found our list of interesting networking icebreaker questions for events.

Networking icebreaker questions are prompts that lead to authentic human connection at networking events. Examples include, “Say I’m visiting your home city.  Where’s the first place I should eat?” and “What are some of the fun things you enjoy doing in your job?” The intention behind these questions is to forge a connection, find common ground, and gain emotional buy-in.

These prompts are a subset of icebreakers questions and are networking event activities and virtual networking activities.

This list includes:

  • virtual networking icebreaker questions
  • business networking icebreaker questions
  • fun networking icebreaker questions
  • ice breaker questions for speed networking
  • unique networking questions
  • open-ended networking questions
  • networking questions to ask senior leaders
  • questions to ask at networking events
  • questions to ask when entworking

Here we go!

Virtual networking icebreaker questions

  1. Say I’m visiting your home city.  Where’s the first place I should eat?
  2. Now that we have experienced working remotely, do you find yourself preferring in person, or do you like working from home?
  3. Did you ever imagine you’d become such a pro at all of these virtual platforms?
  4. What is your standard remote workday routine?
  5. What is something you have in your home office that would raise eyes in an actual office?
  6. What is your biggest distraction when working from home?
  7. Besides home, where is your favorite place to work remotely?
  8. What is the most unexpected thing that ever happened during a Zoom meeting?
  9. What is an object in your home office that you could not live without?
  10. What is your best virtual work hack?
  11. What is the strangest place you have ever worked remotely?
  12. What do you typically wear while working remotely?
  13. What is the most fun Slack channel you are part of?

Business networking icebreaker questions

  1. What are some of the fun things you enjoy doing in your job?
  2. What kinds of professional development areas are interesting to you right now?
  3. Let’s Six-Degrees-Of-Kevin-Bacon this:  I bet we could find a few people between us that know each other from our various workplaces, and we could figure out a relationship chain of people between us.
  4. What is the most interesting job you have ever held?
  5. What was your first job?
  6. Your boss asks you to come up with a “moonshot” project. What do you pitch?
  7. Do you have any side hustles?
  8. What are the top three things you hope to accomplish in your career?
  9. If you were not in this industry, what do you think you would be doing?
  10. What was the best boss you have ever had like?
  11. What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?
  12. What is something that surprised you about this industry?
  13. What is something that someone outside of the industry would not know?
  14. What is the biggest misconception folks have about your job?

Fun networking icebreaker questions

  1. I’m taking a poll here: cake or pie?
  2. Tell me about your dream vacation. Are we talking sand castles? Alaskan sled dogs? Cooking classes with a tiny old Italian lady?
  3. We all have a reality TV show that we secretly love and I’m dying to know yours.  Mine is X, and I’m not ashamed.
  4. If you won the lottery tomorrow, what is the first thing you would do?
  5. How would you describe your job to a five year old?
  6. Come up with a fun fake job title.
  7. They are making a movie or TV show about your workplace. What is the plot? Which actors do you cast?
  8. What is your favorite kind of music to listen to while working?
  9. What is the strangest coincidence that has ever happened to you?
  10. Who in this room is most likely to be a secret millionaire? A secret superhero?
  11. What would be the funniest way to quit a job?
  12. What is your favorite non-work topic to talk about with coworkers?

Ice breaker questions for speed networking

  1. Quick!  Tell me your favorite ice cream flavor!
  2. Go with your gut here and don’t overthink it–if someone handed you three million bucks and told you that you had to spend it, what would you spend it on?
  3. If you had to choose between these two new career paths, would you rather be a professional koala cuddler or professional Netflix-watcher?
  4. What age would you like to retire?
  5. Phone call, text messages, email, or Slack?
  6. Virtual meetings or in-person meetings?
  7. Best business trip you have ever taken?
  8. Most interesting coworker you have ever worked with?
  9. How long have you been in your industry?
  10. Have you always wanted to work in this industry?
  11. What is your favorite part of your job?
  12. What is your least favorite part of your job?
  13. Name one great book you read this year.
  14. Share an interesting fact you learned recently.
  15. What is your favorite way to network?
  16. If you have to plan a professional meeting, where do you hold it to impress your guests?

Unique networking questions

  1. What did you think you were going to be when you were in elementary school?
  2. Any cool stuff you’re into outside of work? I just met a guy who builds LEGO replicas of architecturally significant buildings, and another one who juggles, and I feel like you’ve got something awesome you do as well.
  3. Who would you invite to your dream dinner party, living or dead?
  4. What was your answer to “where did you see yourself in ten years?” ten years ago?
  5. Who would you most like to meet at one of these events?
  6. Let’s play fantasy department draft. If you could recruit anyone, real or fictional, living or dead, to work with you, which five people would you choose?
  7. When you see your job or industry in movies, which inaccuracy bothers you the most?
  8. Who would be a celebrity you would love to work with?
  9. What is an invention that would make your work life infinitely easier?
  10. Share a work meme.

Open-ended networking questions

  1. Tell me something cool about where you are from.
  2. How did you find yourself at this event?  What excited you about it?
  3. Everyone’s got one subject they know a whole lot about.  What’s yours?
  4. What is your favorite conversation starter?
  5. What is something most folks would never guess about you?
  6. What is a story you love to tell but rarely find an opportunity to do so?
  7. The secret to your success is….
  8. If you were to write a book, what would it be about?
  9. What is the thing that most excites you about your job or industry?
  10. What kinds of coworkers do you most love working with?
  11. What is one unanswered question about your field that you hope to see answered throughout your career?

Networking questions to ask senior leaders

  1. If you could have given advice to yourself just entering the workforce, what would it be?
  2. What excites you about your job every day?
  3. What do people not know about your job?
  4. What did your career path look like?
  5. What would your subordinates be most surprised to learn about you?
  6. What is your top career tip?
  7. Did you ever have a mentor? What were they like?
  8. What is one thing you learned from one of your subordinates?
  9. Describe your dream employee.
  10. What is one thing that existed when you started your career that is rare or nonexistent in the business world now?
  11. What is the biggest change you have seen in this industry since you started working?
  12. What is the legacy you hope to leave behind?
  13. What is a change that you hope to make in your workplace?
  14. What else do you hope to achieve in your career?
  15. What is the greatest professional lesson you have ever learned?
  16. What is the greatest obstacle you have overcome in your career? How did you do it?

Questions to ask at networking events

  1. OK, it’s day three of this conference and I still haven’t found a killer dinner spot.  Any good recs?
  2. I hear there’s a cool bar somewhere on the fourth floor.  Have you found it yet?
  3. How’s the jet lag recovery going?
  4. Describe your dream work event.
  5. Who would you most like to see speak live?
  6. What was the best interview you have ever been on? The worst?
  7. What is one thing you will not compromise on in your professional life?
  8. When you retire, what do you hope coworkers will say about you at your retirement party?
  9. What is your favorite way to network?
  10. What is your preferred method to keep in touch with people?

Final Thoughts

Networking events can be awkward at first, but interesting questions can help to break the ice and get discussion flowing.

Remember that when you break the ice first, you are already starting in an awesome position.  Your conversation partner will be naturally appreciative, as they did not have to take the initial risk. Additionally, all humans want to feel seen and wanted.  You are making that person feel awesome, so trust it and jump in.

In terms of tone, aim for natural and move away from “this is an icebreaker.” The more authentic and present you can make the conversation, the more enjoyable and meaningful it can become.

The more interesting your question, the more this person will remember you. The move here is to connect with the person, and the icebreaker is just a launching pad. Keep your focus on the engagement after the first question and remember the icebreaker isn’t the most important part.

Have fun with these icebreakers, and trust that the effort you put forth engaging with someone you do not know can lead to meaningful conversations and relationships.

Next, check out this list of team breakout session ideas and this list of networking tips.

FAQ: Networking icebreakers

Here are answers to common questions about networking icebreakers.

What are some good icebreaker questions to ask at networking events?

Some good icebreaker questions to ask at networking events include:

  1. Say I’m visiting your home city.  Where’s the first place I should eat?
  2. What is a change that you hope to make in your workplace?
  3. Most interesting coworker you have ever worked with?
  4. What is your top career tip?
  5. What is an invention that would make your work life infinitely easier?

Asking someone’s thoughts about something accessible and low-stakes offers an easier entrance into the conversation than something that might be challenging to summarize or requires time to explain.

How do you start conversations at networking events?

To start conversations at networking events, try to find common ground. It is important to show curiousity about the other person’s life and value their opinion. All of these strategies create meaningful opportunities to connect and forge strong relationships, laying the foundation for future connections.

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Author avatar


People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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