Interviewing

Best Icebreaker Questions During a Group Interview

During a group interview, the interviewer may ask you and the other candidates some icebreaker questions. Though you may have the opportunity to listen to some other answers before giving your own, it’s helpful to prepare for this type of interview by thinking about these common questions ahead of time. This article will share some popular icebreaker questions you might encounter in a group interview, with sample answers to help you think about the best way to approach them.

Why do interviewers ask group icebreaker questions?

Interviewers use icebreaker questions to ease some of the tension that interviewees might feel in this type of meeting. Group interviews hold a unique dynamic, putting potential hires together in the same room with other candidates. Posing icebreaker questions to the group is particularly useful, as it helps individuals get to know one another and feel more comfortable in the group environment.

Sample group icebreaker questions and answers

Preparing for common icebreaker questions in a group interview will give you a strong start and help you build your confidence early. 

Consider some of the following questions and how you might respond:

What makes you excited to get up and come to work?

During any type of interview, you should show a potential employer what intrigues you about the job you’re applying to. Your answer offers insight into what motivates you to come to work and put forth your best effort. Discuss the challenges, responsibilities or rewarding tasks involved in a job that excites you.

Example: ‘I enjoy meeting new people, and I like to start the day thinking about the interesting characters I might come across as a sales assistant. Every individual presents a puzzle that I get to solve as I help them find the right system for their needs.’

What do you do in your free time?

This question gives your interviewer an idea of what interests you most outside of work. In a creative position, it’s a good sign when the interviewee mentions similarly creative hobbies. For example, an avid reader is often learning new skills that they can bring into the workplace. Consider your hobbies and be prepared with one or two that demonstrate abilities that are useful in a professional environment.

Example: ‘I enjoy reading the daily newspaper each evening before I get ready for bed. The current events help me stay informed on important trends, and doing the crossword puzzle helps me keep my mind sharp.’

What’s the last book you read?

The books you read can tell your interviewer more about your interests and personality. For example, a fiction reader can develop a deeper sense of empathy from relating to the rich characters in the novel. Non-fiction books may impart valuable knowledge and skills. Think about some of the most recent books you’ve read and what you learned from them so you’re prepared for this type of question.

Example: ‘I recently read a book about how we form habits and why we follow them. I found it especially interesting because I think habit-building has major significance in the marketing industry.’

Why did you pursue this career?

Potential employers want to understand your motivation for joining the company. This question gives you the opportunity to show your genuine interest in what the company does or a desire to develop a long-term career in that industry. Consider the most important factors that influenced your decision to apply for the job.

Example: ‘I’ve always been fascinated by how people think and what motivates them to act in certain ways. In marketing, I’m able to explore those motivations and find ways to work with them, encouraging shoppers to buy a certain product. I’ve been a fan of your line of cookware for a long time and would love to have the opportunity to share my enthusiasm with others.’

What do you know about the company?

Interviewers are looking for candidates who are well-informed about the industry and their business. If your interviewer asks you this question, prepare an answer that demonstrates that you have researched the company. In a group setting, you should prepare for others to supply some of the more obvious answers. Consider your personal experiences with the industry so you can provide a unique response.

Example: ‘My role in our family Thanksgiving has always been preparing the desserts, and I have a collection of your pie plates that I get out every year for the holiday. Having tried other brands over the years, I know that these products are really among the best.’

How do you work in a team?

If the company is holding a group interview to fill multiple positions, this question will give interviewers an idea of how different people might fit together in a team. Some employees are natural leaders, while others are gifted at maintaining organization and supporting others. Describe the niche that best suits you on a team, keeping in mind that you can discuss a variety of skills and approaches.

Example: ‘I often fill the role of secretary when I’m working on a team. I’m a great listener and note-taker. In my last position, I would often supply my coworkers with a summary of key points after our team meetings to help everyone remember who was assigned to each task and where we were on the project timeline.’