Interview Game

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Spend three minutes finding three interesting facts about a partner, then discuss them as a group. Interviewers will ask pointed, specific questions and subjects will answer them to the best of their ability. Afterwards, the interviewer will report to the rest of the group about what they learned.

This icebreaker is a good way to spark conversation in quiet groups that may be intimidated by public speaking or more active icebreakers. It works reasonably well with groups that don’t have space to move around, although spreading out is ideal for this icebreaker.

Interview is an icebreaker for mid-sized groups (8-15 people) and works best with groups aged 10 and up. Younger children may have difficulty thinking of questions to ask their partner and identifying interesting facts. Larger or smaller groups can use this icebreaker, but it will start to run long and loud the more people participating. Smaller groups can use Interview, but groups will likely be able to hear one another, which leads to cross-talk and derails the purpose of the icebreaker.

Materials

To play the Interview icebreaker, you will need:

  • Paper for each pair to jot notes on
  • 1 pen or pencil per pair
  • Watch or clock to time the activity
  • Flip chart or whiteboard (optional)
  • Permanent marker or dry erase marker (optional)

How To Play the Interview Game

  1. Divide the group into pairs. A group with an odd number of participants can have one group of three, or the odd person can partner with the group leader. Spread out as much as possible so that each partners can hear each other speak.
  2. Each group will need to decide who is going to be the “interviewer" and who will be the “subject." Everyone will eventually play both roles, so it doesn’t really matter who goes first.
  3. Give the group three minutes for each interviewer to learn three interesting facts about their subject by asking specific questions. Do not allow them to ask, “What are three interesting facts about you?" Good questions examples are: Where did you grow up? What was your favorite class in high school? What do you like to do in your spare time?
  4. After three minutes has passed, bring the players together and allow one interviewer at a time to explain what interesting facts they discovered. Jot down notes on a whiteboard or flip chart next to each subject’s name, which helps name recognition and sparks later conversation.
  5. Once every group has shared their facts, have the participants switch roles and repeat steps 3 and 4.

Tips and Notes

Watch the time! It can be very easy for participants to get into detailed conversations or launch into monologue about their interesting facts. Emphasize that facts should be delivered to the group in the form of one intriguing sentence, not a detailed explanation.

The Interview Game gets noisy with lots of people talking in small groups. This icebreaker works best in a larger room where participants have a chance to spread out, and where high levels of noise won’t bother anyone.