one-on-one meeting questions

100+ Effective One-on-One Meeting Questions for Managers and Employees

Michael author profile imageMichael Chen
Oct 10, 202214 mins
‍What do you discuss in a one-on-one meeting?

The main purpose of a one-on-one is mutual teaching and exchange of information.”

Andy Grove - Former CEO of Intel

In the modern workspace, regular one-on-one meetings are vital for managers and employees to discuss performance, share updates, and give feedback. And to make them productive rather than wasting time, asking the right questions means a lot. Not only will you stand a better chance of making the meeting effective, but you can also build a stronger relationship.

Let’s face it. Managers and employees alike struggle with what questions to ask in a one-on-one meeting and how to say them tactfully.

To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled 105 one-on-one meeting questions that cover a wide range of topics. Keep reading!

‍What do you discuss in a one-on-one meeting?

Before we dive into the exact questions, the below part will give you more insights into what to discuss in a one-on-one meeting by outlining the four most important talking points: growth, motivation, challenges, and feedback.


Everyone has their own idea regarding professional development, whether it's learning new skills or building long-term goals. Great managers should care not only about how the employee work currently but also find out what career aspirations each employee has and give valuable advice.

When everyone grows, the whole team also builds up.


 I bet it’s a headache for most managers to ensure their team stays motivated and engaged. A one-on-one conversation offers a private space to discuss if the employees are enjoying their work, if they feel stressed and how you can motivate them on an ongoing basis. After all, a successful business runs on employees who are engaged and fulfilled in their roles. 


In daily work, employees may face a number of challenges but don’t know how or whom to talk about them. Whether it’s day-to-day communication, collaboration with other team members, or even personal concerns, employees should be encouraged to speak up. Remedying these issues timely will help improve employee satisfaction and performance.


Open and honest feedback between managers and employees can have a huge impact. These types of conversations can help make improvements on how you communicate, give feedback, have meetings, and so much more. Whatever the one-on-one meeting type is, never forget to ask for mutual feedback.

75 One-on-one meeting questions great managers ask

Now that we’ve explored the talking points of one-on-one meetings, let’s walk through the questions you can ask in different situations. 

By using relevant employee one-on-one meeting templates to address topics of interest, you will increase the chances of gaining their trust so employees can speak their minds and share their thoughts freely.

Check out the following effective one-on-one meeting questions for managers. From general check-in questions and employee performance to career development, we’ve got you covered.

Questions about personal life (check-in)

Whether it’s your first one-on-one meeting with an employee or you’ve been having regular meetings for some time, it’s always good to start the conversation with check-in questions. And that means asking about personal life rather than work-related questions.

These questions will not only help build a better relationship but also increase trust.

At the same time, it’s important to maintain a balance between ‘caring and prying’. Don’t dig too much into personal questions; show your care and respect for privacy.

  • What do you like to do in your spare time?

  • How was your weekend?

  • What’s your favorite sport? Are you a fan of any sports team?

  • When is your next vacation? Do you have any plans?

  • Do you watch any interesting movies/books recently?

  • What’s the best thing that happened to you this week?

  • How are you and your family doing?

Questions about employee wellness and engagement

According to research findings by Oxford University in 2019, happy employees are 13% more productive than unhappy ones. 

As many factors contribute to employee wellness and engagement, tapping into what the key factors are is important. You can use the following questions to constantly check and gauge how happy and motivated your employees are feeling at the time so you can take proactive steps when necessary.

  • Do you enjoy your current work?

  • Are you proud to be an employee of this company?

  • Do you have friends in this organization?

  • What do you enjoy most about working here?

  • What do you dislike most about working here? 

  • How do you feel your work/life balance is right now?

  • What motivates you to come to work every day?

  • Are you happy working at the company most of the time?

Questions about career and professional development

Are you aware that 94% of employees are ready to stay longer in an organization if the company invests in their learning and development? 

This is another one-to-one conversation topic of importance to most employees. When discussed on a constant basis, it can boost employee productivity and performance on the job. 

  •  What are your short-term and long-term career goals?

  • Is your job what you expected when you accepted it?

  •  Do you think you’ve made progress since joining this organization?

  • Where do you see yourself in this organization in the next two years?

  • What are you doing currently to improve your knowledge and skills?

  • Is there a particular internal or external training you are interested in?

  • Do you have an interest in learning or developing some new skills?

  • What are new skills you’d like to learn on the job?

  • Are there any workshops or conferences that you wish to attend?

  • Who do you see as a role model in this company?

  •  How can the company or I help you achieve your career goals?


Questions about employee performance 

Individual employee performance is the cornerstone of the whole team's success. You can therefore ask the following questions in a one-on-one meeting to check whether an employee understands his role and how he feels about the performance.

  • Do you understand your job role and responsibilities?

  • What has been your work highlight and lowlight in the past month?

  • Is there anything unexpected about your work that you just discovered recently?

  • Which areas of your work do you find easy/difficult?

  • What do you think of your current workload? 

  • What are the major distractions and time wasters in your work environment?

  • What other projects will you prefer to work on?

  • Would you like to have additional responsibilities?

  • What do you think are your biggest job achievements in the last month?

  • From 1-10, how will you rate your performance so far?

Pro Tip: Have performance review meetings with employees during the first 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, and then quarterly to make a comprehensive appraisal.

Questions about teamwork

Improving teamwork in the workplace has become one of the main priorities for organizations worldwide. However, sometimes it can become a major obstacle as members don’t stay aligned. 

Deep dive into these effective one-on-one questions to assess what’s working well and what can be done to increase alignment and team collaboration.

  • How are you doing with other team members?

  • Do you enjoy working with this team?

  • Who is your favorite team member, and why?

  • Which team member do you struggle to work with and why?

  • Who are the high performers and low performers on your team?

  • Do you encounter any problems when collaborating with other teams?

  • What do you think can be done to improve team performance?

Questions about challenges and concerns

Every role comes with its share of challenges. It may be difficult for employees to report their concerns to you if not asked; therefore, it’s the manager’s responsibility to inquire if they have any problems and respond accordingly.

Here are some useful questions to ask in your next one-on-one meetings:

  • What is the biggest headache you have about your job?

  • Which aspects of your job do you struggle with?

  • What has gone well/not so well for you [over a period of time]?

  • What makes you less productive while working?

  • What, if anything, feels harder than it should be in your day-to-day work?

Questions to get feedback

When you have a culture of sharing and receiving feedback at work, everyone benefits, whether it’s the employee, the manager, or even the organization. 

By asking for straightforward feedback from employees, you can make them feel that their opinions matter, feel valued and recognized, and keep their morale and engagement high. 

  •  Is there anything you want to know about me?

  • How do you prefer to get feedback on your work?

  • Are you happy with the amount of feedback you’re getting from me?

  • Do you like to be praised in public or in private?

  • Do you feel comfortable giving feedback about the colleagues you collaborate with?

  • What do you like about my management style? What do you dislike?

  • What do you think I’m missing or not getting about you and the team?

  • How can I make your work easier as your manager?

  • If you were in my shoes, what would you do differently?

  • What would you change about this company if you could?

  • Do you think this one-on-one meeting is worth it? How can we facilitate our discussion?

  • Are you comfortable with the frequency of our one-on-one conversations?

  • Is there anything we missed that you want us to discuss?

  • What are your top takeaways from this meeting?

  • Do you need my help in any area? 

Special questions for remote employees

Because remote employees do not enjoy the luxury of face-to-face interactions that onsite employees take for granted, having frequent one-on-ones with them is essential to stay connected.

You can therefore use the following one-on-one questions for remote teams to assure them that out of sight is not out of mind and also convince them that they are equally as important as other employees so they will remain engaged and continue to give their best.

In fact, research shows that 45% of remote employees have frequent one-on-ones with their managers, and they prefer it that way.

  • Do you enjoy working remotely?

  • What is your daily working routine?

  • Do you struggle to disconnect from work at the end of the day?

  • How often do you think we should have one-on-one meetings?

  • Have you ever felt forgotten or overlooked in the organization just because you are a remote employee?

  •  What do you think the company is getting wrong with remote workers?

  • Do you feel isolated from other team members because you work remotely?

  • How can the company provide more support for remote workers?

  • How are you coping with distractions?

  • Are there tools or technologies you need for your work but don’t have?

  • What work challenges do you struggle with?

  • How can I support you more as a remote worker?

Pro Tip: Airgram is the ultimate tool to record, transcribe, and document meetings for hybrid and remote teams. It is compatible with Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams.

30 One-on-one meeting questions to ask your manager

Obviously, a one-on-one meeting can’t be successful without the active contribution and participation of the employee. 

As an employee, it’s also your chance to leave a good impression and seek to make progress. Come prepared with these appropriate questions to ask your manager in the next one-on-one meeting.

Questions about growth & development 

  • Have you noticed any skill gaps that I need to address quickly?

  • Can you recommend books or courses that can help me improve?

  • Are there additional responsibilities I can help with?

  • Which higher positions or job roles in the company can I aspire to?

  • What do I need to do to get a promotion within the next year?

  • Who in the company do you think I can learn the most from?

  • I hope to reach [the career goal], do you think this is reasonable?

  • Are there mentorship opportunities available for me?

 Questions about performance

  • Which aspects of my work should I prioritize?

  • What do you see as my strengths and weaknesses?

  • What am I getting right that you want me to continue doing?

  • What am I getting wrong that you want me to stop doing?

  • What’s one thing that you think I’ve been doing great recently?

  • How else can I help the team achieve our goals?

  • Are there any team challenges that I can help with?

  • How can I become a top performer on my team?

  • Can you tell me what the high performers are doing that I’m not doing?

  • Are you satisfied with my performance on the job so far?

  • How are we progressing on our goals as a team?

Questions about feedback and communication

  • Can I reach out to you anytime I need help or require guidance?

  • Which communication method do you prefer?

  • How often should I update you about my work and projects?

  • How can I make your job easier?

  • What’s something you feel unclear about in my work?

  • What’s the best way to get feedback on my work?

One-on-one questions for remote employees

  • What is the best way to reach you for a quick response?

  • How often do you expect work updates from me?

  • Can we have this one-on-one meeting more often?

  • How can I get more connected with the team?

  • I need [a tool/resource]  to do my job better. Can I get it?‍ 

Get Started with a one-on-one meeting template

Whether you want to talk about career opportunities, professional development, team collaboration, or anything in between, a one-on-one meeting template can maintain a great flow of the conversation and cover everything you intend to talk about!

While there are one-on-one meeting types for different purposes, and they may differ in structure, the shared goal is to cover the right talking points and follow up. For example, a classic one-on-one meeting generally follows this structure:

1. Informal check-in (5 minutes)

Discuss the employee's current well-being and state of mind to start the conversation in a friendly atmosphere.

2. Recent work recap (15 minutes)

An overview of the working progress, achievements, and challenges since the last meeting.

3. General feedback (10 minutes)

Share and receive feedback, then discuss any other topic of interest to the employee.

4. Upcoming work arrangement (10 minutes)

Discuss the work arrangement and priorities in the next period.

5. Wrap-up  (5 minutes)

Discuss and agree on meeting takeaways and set action items.
bi-weekly one-on-one meeting template

I recommend using Airgram to create a meeting agenda and share it with all attendees in advance so that everyone can contribute to the agenda and thus have an effective meeting. The Airgram team has provided free built-in templates inside the app that are ready to use!

Succeed at your next one-on-one meeting

Whether you are a great manager or an employee, these one-on-one meeting questions will surely guide you to a productive conversation. It’s a great time to put them into practice and get well-equipped with Airgram to cover any talking point!


Michael Chen

Michael started his career as a product manager and then developed a passion for writing. He has been writing on technology, remote working, productivity, etc., hoping to share his thoughts with more people.

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