Questionnaires for icebreaker interviews

Interview questions by type

This page contains the list of questionnaires for icebreaker interviews, questions to use as icebreakers in interviews and when conducting a job interview, what to ask.

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It is helpful to use icebreaker questions to open interviews with candidates and to naturally move into more job-specific questions. Start off the interview by having a casual discussion before moving on to the core interview questions make candidates feel more comfortable.

It’s unlikely that you will choose your next hire based on how they answer these questions; however, they are useful starting points for job interviews and can help make a positive first impression. At the beginning of an interview, you may wish to ask the following questions:

A sample of icebreaker questions for an interview

  • Were you able to find this location easily? Do you have any knowledge of this area?
  • Have you ever been a customer of our company? Would you mind sharing your customer’s experience if you did?
  • What prompted your interest in this position? Have you ever worked with us or know anyone who has?
  • Is there a particular reason why you are interested in this position? Were there any particular aspects of our job advertisement that attracted your attention?
  • As a candidate for our company, how have you found the experience so far? Has the application process been difficult for you? 
  • Did you have a good experience communicating with our hiring team via email or telephone?
  • What motivated you to pursue this career path?
  • Which field of study did you choose?
  • Have you ever imagined yourself in this position at the beginning of your academic or professional career? In the event that this is not the case, what kind of job did you imagine you would be doing and what caused your decision to change?
  • If you were to work here, what would you like to find that you like about your current job?

Questions to use as icebreakers in interviews

As their name implies, these questions are intended to break the ice before you begin evaluating candidates. Depending on the situation, select appropriate icebreaker questions:

  • Ask candidates to introduce themselves briefly during group interviews. Give a brief introduction to your interview team (e.g. names and job titles).
  • When conducting a video interview with a remote candidate, ask about the weather and the area in which the candidate resides. Additionally, you may wish to inquire if they have ever visited the location where your offices are located and what their impressions were.
  • As part of the first onsite interview, consider asking candidates if they found it difficult to get to your office and what they think of the working environment. In addition, you may wish to ask if they have any previous experience with your company (e.g. as a customer).
  • During the second or third round of interviews, if you have already established a relationship, you may be able to discuss something that had been discussed during your previous interviews.

When conducting a job interview, do not ask these questions

It is important to note that icebreaker questions are only a small part of the interview, but they set the stage for an effective evaluation. Therefore, you should avoid the following:

  • I was asked an unusual question. In an interview, a good candidate will likely be prepared to answer typical questions such as “Why did you apply for this position? ” For example, “Tell me about your current position. “Unusual questions that are irrelevant to the job may frighten candidates (e.g. “If you were a food, what kind of food would you be?”).
  • Questions that are rude or too personal. It is best to play it safe, even if you want to sound friendly and approachable. A question such as “What did you do over the weekend? ” could make candidates feel uncomfortable if they were struggling with family or health issues.
  • Abrupt questions. There’s nothing wrong with skipping the small talk and going straight to the point. But, questions like “What are your salary expectations?” or “Are you available to work overtime, if needed?” don’t give the right impression – and should have been addressed in earlier rounds of the hiring process. Get to know candidates with questions like “Why did you choose this field?” or “What do you like about this role?”
  • These are challenging questions. In order to ease nervousness, icebreaker questions are used. When job interviews begin with brainteasers or tough questions, candidates are likely to experience more stress and perform worse. You may wish to postpone these types of interview questions for later or provide candidates with time to prepare their answers in a quiet environment.

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