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Career Development Tips

Best 'Get to Know You' Questions for Work

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated June 29, 2021

Guide Overview

The importance of 'get to know you' questions for workHow to ask 'get to know you' questions for workTop 'get to know you' questions for work

Guide Overview

Asking 'get to know you' questions for work

Getting to know your coworkers is an important part of creating strong work relationships. By understanding a little bit about your coworkers' backgrounds and personalities, you can learn how to work together and collaborate more efficiently. Asking questions is a great way to break the ice and show your colleagues that you are genuinely interested in their lives. Here we share a list of 'get to know you' questions for work.

The importance of 'get to know you' questions for work

‘Get to know you’ questions for work are a great tool for learning more about your coworkers. By asking lighthearted questions, you can learn more about your team members’ lives, interests, and backgrounds. Getting to know other people on a deeper level is also helpful for teamwork. When you understand how others operate, you can be more collaborative.

Learn more: Important Character Traits for the Workplace

How to ask 'get to know you' questions for work

Follow these steps when asking ‘get to know you’ questions for work:

Don’t pry

Always be respectful of others when asking questions. If you find that a coworker would rather not answer your question, let it be. They may feel uncomfortable with that particular subject. When asking questions, don’t get too personal. Things like religion, money, and health concerns are considered taboo for many. Remember, some people might be more private than yourself, and you should always respect that.

Make sure they are work appropriate

The types of questions you ask coworkers may be quite different than the questions you ask your friends. Since you are in a work setting, you need to ensure the conversations you are having are appropriate. Avoid asking anything that could be considered offensive or outlandish. You want to make sure everyone is comfortable whenever you ask them a question.

Learn more: How to Find the Perfect Company

Start with surface-level questions

Before asking deeper questions, begin with more lighthearted ones. This way you can ease into getting to know your coworkers. Think of it this way, you wouldn’t want a complete stranger or acquaintance asking about your deepest darkest secrets. Start with surface-level topics, such as hobbies, travel, or previous work experiences. As your conversation continues, you can begin to ask more in-depth follow-up questions.

Ask them at the right time

Asking such questions isn’t appropriate in the middle of a meeting or when someone is busy with work. Save the banter for more relaxed settings, like lunch, an after-work happy hour, or before a meeting begins. For instance, some managers like to start meetings by asking a fun question to help everyone loosen up a bit. When saving such questions for social situations, you can have more time to share and discuss.

Remember their response

When you ask a question, make an effort to remember the other person’s answer. This shows them that you are an active listener and can help you avoid asking the question again. When you remember information about people’s lives, it shows that you care about what they have to say. It’s also a good way to build your relationship since you can ask additional questions about a piece of information you remember.

Top 'get to know you' questions for work

Let’s look at some useful ‘get to know you questions’ by category:

Business-related

These are questions you could ask during a business meeting or networking event. They are primarily focused on professional topics and previous work experience. You can learn more about your colleague’s working style and career goals with these questions:

  • What is your job title?
  • How long have you been working here?
  • What does your day-to-day look like?
  • What was your previous role?
  • How did you get into this industry?
  • How do you stay motivated?
  • What are your professional goals?
  • What’s your preferred working style?
  • Would you rather come to work early or stay late?
  • What’s your favorite task at work?
  • Did you always know you wanted this career?
  • What’s your top professional accomplishment?
  • How do you get energized for work?
  • What productivity tools do you use?
  • What’s something you find challenging at work?

Fun and lighthearted

You can think of these as icebreaker questions. They are helpful when you’re just getting to know someone. They give others the chance to share more about their interests, life experiences, and hobbies. These questions are useful when making small talk or as you’re just getting to know a coworker:

  • Where’s your favorite place to travel?
  • Do you have any upcoming trips?
  • What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?
  • Do you have any pets?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • Who is your favorite music artist?
  • What’s your favorite movie?
  • What’s your favorite television show?
  • Where do you like to go out to eat?
  • Do you prefer to cook or go out to eat?
  • Do you prefer coffee or tea?
  • Are you an early riser or someone who hits the snooze button?
  • Have you ever met a celebrity?
  • What’s the highlight of your week?
  • What’s your best piece of advice?

Learn more: How to Use an Online Personality Test to Advance Your Career

More personal

Once you start to establish more personal connections with your coworkers, you can begin to ask these questions to learn even more about them. Discussing these topics can help you both feel more comfortable working together:

  • What’s your Myers-Briggs personality?
  • Where did you grow up?
  • Did you play any sports growing up?
  • What is your guilty pleasure?
  • What are your pet peeves?
  • If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?
  • What skills do you hope to improve?
  • How would your friends or family describe you?
  • What’s something you want to learn more about?
  • What advice would you give your past self?
  • Who was your role model growing up?
  • Do you have any family traditions?
  • What’s something you’ve always wanted to try?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • Do you have any secret skills or talents?

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