7 Simple Networking Icebreakers
Networking can be one of the most challenging aspects of a job search. People rarely feel lonelier than when they’re standing in a crowded room of strangers. Try these easy icebreakers to drum up a new connection.
“What do you do outside of work?”
Most people enjoy talking about their hobbies more than their careers. Asking about hobbies can give you a sense of someone’s personality and may give you insights about their professional demeanor.
“So, what brought you to this event today?”
Sometimes the best icebreaker is just asking an open-ended question and encouraging the other person to share about themselves.
“I love your tie.”
Whether it’s someone’s shoes, watch, blouse, or hair, a brief, genuine compliment can be a highly effective way of initiating a conversation.
“I’ve never attended one of these before. Do you have any suggestions to get the most out of it?”
If you’re attending a conference or one of a series of events, this is an excellent question to engage with people who’ve already attended the event before and might be able to give you some advice or insights.
“Is this your first time? Mine too.”
If you try the approach above and the person has never attended the event before, this may be a better approach to get the conversation rolling.
“I want to talk to the happy people. You all seem to be having a good time.”
If you see a group of people laughing or smiling, try this approach. Networking should be fun, so talk to the people who seem to be having a good time. They’ll likely show an inviting attitude.
“Hi, my name is Bob.”
Of course, you should insert your own name instead of “Bob,” but sometimes the most effective icebreaker can be as simple as a broad smile and a confident introduction of yourself. Chances are, other attendees are probably just as nervous as you are, and at some point, someone has to start the conversation.