Susan Heathfield in Balance Careers defined icebreaker as an activity, game, or event that is used to welcome and warm up conversation among participants. Whether you are in a meeting, training class, team building, interview, or any other kind of sessions, icebreaker is somewhat necessary to break the cold situations and warm up the atmosphere of the room. Likewise, Heathfield added that Icebreakers can be used in any event that requires people to comfortably interact with each other. Therefore, in a moment of silence during an interview, it is a good idea for recruiters to use icebreaker.
Throwing icebreaker questions to candidates can be a fun way to get to know them better. Sometimes, an interviewee might be nervous and anxious or simply not good at conversing with the hiring manager during an interview session. Therefore, icebreaker questions can help interviewees relax and feel better. Lisa B. Marshall as cited in QDT said, “Icebreaker questions helps to create a strong first impression – in both directions.” It is also a great way to build confidence in candidates. Therefore, try on these few icebreaker questions as proposed by Marshall to have a relaxed interview session.
Icebreaker #1 What makes you attracted to this company/position?
This question will tell you immediately how well-prepared candidates are. They should be competently discuss industry, reputation of company within industry, and any recent activity that has been made public. Also, candidates should be able to match their strengths and values with needs of company.
Icebreaker #2 What did you do to prepare for this interview?
This question will not only break the ice, but also tells you a great deal about how prepared candidates are for the interview. “Preparation can be a sign of how candidate will approach work projects in future,” added Marshall.
Icebreaker #3 Why is this job a good fit for you?
This question is aimed to see if candidates are actively managing their career. You can also get important information regarding their knowledge, skills, and career goals as the question requires candidates to tell you more about them in a clear, concise, and compelling manner.
Icebreaker #4 What questions do you have for me?
Before or after the interview, you can ask this question to know what candidates think about the meeting. Their perspective somehow can lead you to another question or simply to know them better. However, Marshall said, it is not a good choice to handling entire interview like this. Yet, if you choose to ask this as a final question, you need to have a back-up plan. If candidates have no question or only a few questions, you will need to decide whether to continue or cut interview short. Again, this question is used to understand how well candidate has prepared for the opportunity.
Additional icebreaker #5 What passion and spare-time activities do you have?
According to Corporate Finance Institute, this question can tell a lot about candidates – what makes them tick, and how they operate, even in a work setting. “This is specifically important if the position applied requires any type of creativity, including flexibility in scheduling projects and getting tasks accomplished on time.”