25 Must Ask and Avoidable Questions for Every One-on-One Meeting

Sep 15, 2021
25 Must Ask and Avoidable Questions for Every One-on-One Meeting

Do you want to make the most out of your one-on-one meetings? Do you feel like they’re not as productive as they could be? You may want to take some time and think about the importance of questions in one-on-one meetings, questions that should be avoided, and the Must Ask Questions in One-on-One Meetings. This blog post will help guide you with 25 questions for every one-on-one meeting!

According to a poll, 48% of the managers have weekly meetings with their employees. However, it may appear difficult to get started and maintain frequent one-on-one sessions. You won’t have any issues if you approach them like any other agenda-driven meeting. In the manager-employee relationship, questions are of utmost importance. They form the basis of a great one-on-one meeting and often make or break a working relationship. As a meeting template, you can use the following list in its precise sequence. You may tailor the best questions to ask in meetings to suit your own goals, company, and workers.

Morale and Engagement: This one is usually the ice-breaking part of the meeting

  1. What are you most proud of since we last met, and why?
  2. What were the highlights of your week at work and at home?
  3. Is there anything that’s bothering you right now? What exactly is it?
  4. How was your weekend?

Teamwork and Collaboration: This could be used as a skip-level manager, especially for 360-degree feedback

  1. Do you have any questions or concerns about our company?
  2. What questions do you have about our company or your role?
  3. Who has had the biggest impact on you from your team and why?
  4. How would you rate your performance at work on a scale of 1-10 (1 poor, 10 excellent)?
  5. How do you feel our company is doing as a whole?
  6. How do you like working with us?
  7. What questions do you have about the next steps in your job function?
  8. How do you think the market will change in the next few years?
  9. What kind of assistance do you require this week from me? What is your main focus for the coming week?

Starting the agenda of the meeting: Remember to share the agenda of the meeting ahead of time so that everyone can be ready with their questions/notes

  1. What’s on your mind regarding the given topic of the meeting?
  2. Do you think we can do it by ____ or is ____ a better option?
  3. What steps do you think are necessary regarding this topic?
  4. How do you think the market will change in the next few years?
  5. How can we improve on this specific agenda?

Asking for Feedback: This is excellent for ideation or employee improvement. In fact, you can gauge their level of interest to grow and be an important source of information!

  1. What questions do you have for me?
  2. How can we improve productivity in the future?
  3. What questions do you have about the future of this project?
  4. In which areas are you looking to improve for the next time?
  5. What questions do you have about the next steps in your job function?
  6. What questions do you have about your career path?
  7. Where would you like to be in three years and how are we supporting that vision of the future?

Most meetings are less than productive. Managers must ensure that they utilize their time effectively and get the most out of every meeting. To do this, managers need to know which are the questions you must avoid in meetings in order to get better information. They should also refrain from giving status updates unless absolutely necessary because it stifles conversation by limiting dialogue between employees.

A more effective approach is to ask leading questions that require the employee’s input. By doing this, companies make sure that they get the best information possible from every single meeting.

Here are a handful of questions you must avoid in meetings:

  1. How are things going for you?

This question may appear to be a good icebreaker, yet it frequently results in unclear responses. Instead, offer leading questions like “What were the highlights of your week at work and at home?” to enable the employee to open up more about his personal life.

If you see that he or she isn’t paying attention, you should inquire, “Is there anything that’s bothering you right now? What exactly is it?”

2. What’s going on with ____ right now?

This question is often asked to get a status report of an ongoing project.  Try asking alternative questions like “Where do you think you could use extra help when working on this project/idea?”

It allows the employee to openly discuss the problems he or she is facing on the project as well as offer a project status report.

3. How can I assist you?

The goal of this inquiry is obvious. You want to figure out how you can support that individual more effectively. However, coming up with a definitive response frequently makes the person uneasy. Instead, say something like, “I believe this project requires additional staff. What are your thoughts?”

Remember to be open to queries and feedback because as a leader, you need to be approachable for your team to open up with you!

Make it clear to the other person what you’re thinking. This way, it will be easy for the person to accept your help and even ask for required assistance in other fields.

4. What can we do to improve things?

This is yet another question with a clear intention which often results in vague answers. If you are looking for feedback, ask “What do you believe is the most under appreciated aspect of the business?” or “How can we improve productivity in the future?”


The whole point of one-on-ones is to have customised sessions in order to build manager-employee connections. Both the employee and the leader need to be more open and direct with one another if they have a safe place to communicate.

When it comes to discussing concerns, most employees are concerned about their privacy. This is why one-on-one meetings are so effective: they give privacy and keep any and all sensitive material strictly between the management and the team member.

At the same time, it allows the management to address any issues without causing any negative consequences. Employers may use those mentioned above Must Ask Questions in One-on-One Meetings and questions must avoid in meetings to create a template for the initial one-on-one meetings. The questions can be further customised based on the company’s specific needs and the meeting’s agenda.

List of one-on-one meetings templates in the huminos platform

  1. Basic 1:1 – Basic template for 1:1 meetings
  2. First 1:1 – Use this template for your first 1:1 meeting with newly joined team members
  3. Regular 1:1 – Use this template for regular weekly, fortnightly or monthly 1:1s. Build personal rapport, recognise initiatives and identify blockers.
  4. Remote 1:1 – Engage with remote working teams using this template.
  5. Know Your Team 1:1 – Good managers have an excellent personal rapport with the team members. Use this template to know your team better.
  6. Well Being 1:1 – Good managers are genuinely interested in the overall well-being of their team members. Use this template to discuss the well-being of a team member.
  7. Setting OKRs – Collaborate and engage with team members in setting OKRs
  8. Aligning OKRs – Align team members’ OKRs with team or company level OKRs
  9. Peer 1:1 – 1:1 meetings with peers help in building cross-functional team alignment and improving communication & collaboration.
  10. Skip Level 1:1 – Skip level meetings not only help in narrowing the power distance between leaders, managers, and team members but also in identifying unconscious biases that creep in during performance evaluation.
  11. Feedback 1:1 – Use this template to gather feedback from team members on What’s working well and what can be done better.
  12. Performance Conversations 1:1 – Use this template at the end of the OKR cycle to discuss performance with team members.
  13. Calibration 1:1 – Schedule a 1:1 meeting with your manager for discussing your team’s performance.
  14. Career Conversations 1:1 – Use this template at the end of the OKR cycle to reflect upon future experiences for your team members
  15. Development Feedback 1:1- Use this template to discuss and share developmental feedback with your team members.
  16. Performance Improvement Plan 1:1 – Use this template to discuss performance issues with your team members.
  17. Exit 1:1 – Use this template to understand the drivers behind attrition within the team

About Huminos

Huminos is a comprehensive performance conversations platform that helps your employees to achieve impactful outcomes, even if they are working remotely. Features like OKRs, 1:1 conversations, feedbacks, reflections, and pulse allow you to plan and measure work that really matters to your company.

Get a FREE 14-day trial of the OKR software to understand how well it fits your business needs.

Get started

Get started with your 90-day free trial!