13 Intern Team Building Activities for New Recruits

13 Intern Team Building Activities for New Recruits featured image
When you’re welcoming new interns into your organization, one of the most important things is ensuring they’re comfortable, confident, and able to contribute to the success of your organization—and intern team building activities are a great way to do that.  

Updated: June 15, 2023

Do you remember your first internship? Fresh out of school, ready to start your professional career, and… feeling incredibly nervous and shy.

It’s completely natural for interns to feel that way, and this illustrates why intern team building activities are such a pivotal exercise when welcoming new recruits into their work placements.

And the investment into doing so is especially worthwhile when you consider that:

When the odds are in favor of your interns joining your organization in the long term, it’s worth putting forward the time, effort, and resources to get them properly engrained in your business and team early on.

So, we’ve compiled 13 intern team building activities to help get your new staff ingrained in your business.

1. Host a Scavenger Hunt

For interns, their first time in a new office is equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking. And sometimes, the key to getting comfortable and becoming better acquainted with their colleagues is to relieve that tension by getting out of the office.

Enter: the scavenger hunt team building activity.

Intended to get people outdoors, exploring, collaborating, and having fun together, scavenger hunts make for incredible intern team building activities because they allow for socialization in a low-pressure scenario.

Wild Goose Chase

a group of interns playing wild goose chase scavenger hunt intern team building activity

In this scavenger hunt activity, your team can get out of the office and explore your city in a whole new way. Together, your team will need to think outside the box, bond as a group, and venture outside into the community in order to complete a series of fun and unique photo and video challenges.

You’ll need to tackle a list of challenges, including:

  • Snap a photo of your team standing next to a large public clock that reads EXACTLY 22 minutes past the hour
  • Search for a business that is open 24 hours 7 days a week and snap a photo of a team member with the sign showing the business’ hours
  • Snap a photo of a teammate next to a vehicle that has an “antique” or “collectible” license plate
  • Head to a nearby playground and take a photo of your entire team balanced on a seesaw. Here’s the catch: everyone’s feet must be off the ground while balanced!
  • Find a hopscotch course or use a piece of chalk to create your own on a sidewalk. Record a 5-second video of a teammate hopping and completing it
  • Stage a martial arts battle with another team in a nearby park. Record a 5-second video of both teams facing each other (with plenty of space between you) and doing the famous crane kick

The team with the most points when time runs out will be named the winners!

This activity is available in the following formats:

  • Hosted: Completely turnkey, you’ll have a live host who coordinates all logistics and runs the event from start to finish.
  • Remote-Hosted: When you don’t need an in-person host at the event, you can have a virtual host who will kick off your event, make sure everything is running smoothly, be available for troubleshooting and questions, and then wrap things up for you.
  • Self-Hosted: Rather than having a host, our team will give you detailed instructions on everything you need to successfully set up and run the event as well as access to Outback’s proprietary app.

So, you can do your team building activity in the format that works best for you.

Alphabet Hunt

With this scavenger hunt activity for work, you won’t even need to create a list of items for your team to find. You simply need to set them loose and ask them to take a photo of a place, object, or person for each letter of the alphabet.

For instance, their B photo might be a bridge, and their T photo might be a train.

This scavenger hunt is fun because it’s extremely open-ended and you can compare photos when your colleagues regroup at the end.

But it also gets interesting because some letters—like X and Z—are more challenging to work with than others.

City Chase

a group of colleagues playing a city chase scavenger hunt intern team building activity

Much like Wild Goose Chase, this scavenger hunt team building activity will have you embark on the ultimate urban adventure with your colleagues.

This entire activity is centered around city-themed challenges that will get you out and enjoying your neck of the woods from a whole new perspective. It’s also a great option for teams who are out of town for conferences, annual retreats, or multi-day meetings.

For even more options, check out our comprehensive list of scavenger hunt team building activity ideas your group will love.

2. Tee Up Welcome Meetings with Team Members

Don’t just leave bond building to chance. Treat welcome meetings as a form of intern team building activity and take initiative to set up get-togethers with interns and key team members.

This could include:

  • The HR department
  • Direct managers
  • Other interns
  • Other teammates

Setting up welcome meetings on behalf of interns will make it much more comfortable for them to get to know people better—in turn allowing them to be more confident in their work.

If you’re interested in learning other great ways to welcome interns into your organization, check out our new hire checklist for successful employee onboarding.

3. Play Some Icebreaker Games

three interns taking part in icebreaker games together

Getting acquainted doesn’t have to be a serious undertaking. In fact, it can actually be all fun and games—and that’s where icebreaker games come into play.

Whether you’re hosting an intern onboarding meeting, starting out a full-team staff meeting, or simply want to take a few minutes to help people get to know each other, getting social and sharing some laughs are a great way to help people get to know each other.

Icebreaker Questions

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about “team building icebreakers?” If it conjures up images of a tacky pick-up line at a speed dating session or some cringeworthy “get-to-know-your-colleagues” game, that’s completely understandable. 

But you can de-cringe this concept with the right (fun and unique) icebreaker questions, such as:

  • Do you have any pets as in-house colleagues?
  • Do you have houseplants in your office? 
  • What’s your go-to remote work outfit?
  • What’s your proudest professional achievement?
  • What’s your favorite thing about your job?
  • What’s something you are really proud of accomplishing?
  • What’s something interesting about your family history?
  • When you’re not at work, what are your passions?
  • Do you have siblings? How many? Where do you fit in the mix?
  • What’s your biggest fear?
  • What’s your secret talent?
  • If you were forced to participate in a flash dance, what song would you perform to and why?
  • What’s your favorite plant?
  • If you had to be transformed into one household item, what would it be and why?
  • If you could bring back any fashion trend what would it be?
  • If you could get rid of any current trend, what would it be and why?
  • What’s one frequently used word that you can’t stand?

For hundreds of other ideas, check out our comprehensive list of the best team building icebreaker questions for work.

Getting to Know You Games

While the concept of getting to know you games is similar to icebreaker and would-your-rather questions, this type of intern team building activity is a bit more involved. But the good news is that they can be played whether you’ve got an hour set aside or you just want to spend five minutes interacting before you start a meeting.

Here are a few options.

Corporate Castaways

a group of colleagues doing a corporate castaways intern team building activity

Here’s an interesting get to know you activity question: how would your team handle being stranded on a deserted island together? With this activity based on the popular TV game show is for you, you’ll find out.

In Corporate Castaways, your group will split into “tribes” to collaborate and tackle fun physical and mental challenges. Each challenge is worth a unique number of points based on its level of difficulty, so each tribe will need to be strategic in how they complete them.

The team with the most points when time runs out will be crowned Corporate Castaways Champions!  

Two Truths and a Lie

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of the game Two Truths and a Lie.

But if not, the premise is pretty simple: each person on your team will be tasked with coming up with three facts. Two of them will be true, and one will be a lie.

Then, the rest of your group will need to decide which ones are which – and you might be surprised by the answers!

It’s an absolutely hilarious activity for getting to know your colleagues better and discovering fun things about them.

Team Pursuit

five colleagues doing a challenge from a team pursuit intern team building activity

Nothing’s better for getting to know each other than an activity that’s all about using unique skills and finding out new things about your colleagues.

In Team Pursuit, your team will need to get their energy levels up in order to tackle a series of mental, physical, skill, and mystery challenges, earning points for each successfully completed challenge.

What kinds of challenges will you be up against? We’re glad you asked. A few highlights include:

  • Air Band Geeks: Who used to or still does play an instrument? Find at least three band geeks and have them hold “air” versions of their instruments. Record a 5-second video of them playing part of a song.

  • Juggling Responsibilities: Who can juggle? Take a 5-second video with that person juggling three or more objects.

  • Tasty Trivia: You throw away the outside and cook the inside. Then you eat the outside and throw away the inside. What is it?

  • Commonalities: Determine your team’s most unique commonality. Once you figure out the most unique thing your group has in common, write a rap or rhyme about it of at least 4 lines. Then record a 5-second video of a teammate performing it.

  • Sing-Along: Choose a popular song and rewrite the lyrics to be about your team. Record a 5-second video of your team performing it and enter the original song’s title in caption space.

Your team won’t be able to help but have a blast with this activity. And if your team works remotely, you can also check out the virtual version of Team Pursuit.

Want to learn about even more getting to know you games you can use as intern team building activities? Check out our resource: 27 Fun Getting to Know You Activities for Work Teams.

Would You Rather Questions

When it comes to getting your colleagues better, there are few ways more efficient (or hilarious) than with would you rather questions.

If you’re unfamiliar with these questions, the premise is pretty straightforward: you ask somebody a question with an either-or outcome, and they have to decide which they’d prefer.

They can be things like:

  • Would you rather get your paycheck given to you in pennies or never be able to use cash again?
  • Would you rather spend the weekend with pirates or ninjas?
  • Would you rather smell with your hands or talk with your feet?
  • Would you rather be forced to sing along or dance to every single song you hear?
  • Would you rather swim in a pool full of Nutella or a pool full of maple syrup?
  • Would you rather buy 10 things you don’t need every time you go shopping or always forget the one thing that you need when you go to the store?
  • Would you rather never be able to go out during the day or never be able to go out at night?
  • Would you rather have a tattoo of the title of the last book you read or the last TV show you watched?
  • Would you rather have a third ear or a third eye?
  • Would you rather live in a treehouse or in a cave?
  • Would you rather sell all of your possessions or sell one of your organs?

There are so many options to choose from! In fact, we’ve got a list of more than 130 would you rather questions for work, if you need more ideas.

4. Host a Show and Tell

a group of interns taking part in a show and tell with their colleagues as intern team building

When you hear the words “show and tell,” you probably think about little kids rather than an intern team building activity.

But that couldn’t be further from the truth!

Even in a professional setting, hosting a show and tell style event is a great way for colleagues and interns to get to know each other better by sharing the things that are most meaningful to them.

All you need to do is host a gathering for your team and ask each person to bring one thing that they love and to talk about it to the rest of the group.

This could include:

  • A favorite book
  • Photos of loved ones or great memories
  • A prized possession
  • Something they’ve built or made

You’d be surprised just how much this type of activity can tell people about one another.

And, if you’d like to make it a little less formal and a bit more relaxed, host your show and tell during a company social or happy hour (more to come on this).

5. Have a Trivia Party

Here’s the thing about trivia: it’s not just fun. It has some other important benefits, including that:

  • It’s actually good for your mental health
  • It requires people to work collaboratively and leverage their unique knowledge and experiences to answer questions

And that’s why it makes for such a perfect intern team building activity.

Gather your team for a trivia party, break out into groups, and have each team answer questions like:

  • Question: Who played Juror Number 8 in 12 Angry Men?
  • Answer: Henry Fonda
  • Question: “Well, nobody’s perfect” is the final line (and punchline) from what classic 1959 comedy starring Marilyn Monroe?
  • Answer: Some Like it Hot 
  • Question: The stage play Everybody Comes to Rick’s was adapted for the screen to become what 1942 Best Picture winner?
  • Answer: Casablanca 
  • Question: The head of what kind of animal is front-and-center in an infamous scene from The Godfather?
  • Answer: A horse

For each questions teams answer correctly, they get a point. Whichever team has the points when the questions run out will be the winner!

If you’d like even more ideas, check out our list of 270+ trivia questions and answers for workgroups which covers a range of topics from entertainment to sports, geography, politics, history, food, and more.

Or, if you’re looking for a trivia party that’s hosted on your behalf, you might like these ideas.

Jeoparty Social

Jeoparty Social is a fun high energy intern team building activity

With Jeoparty Social, your team will get to step into their very own Jeopardy-style game show experience – equipped with a buzzer, a professional actor as your host, and an immersive game show platform. Between each round of Jeopardy, your team will participate in social mixer challenges.

Get ready to test your trivia knowledge, hit that buzzer as fast as you can, stack up points for your team before time runs out, and wager a little bit (or a lot) in a round of Final Jeoparty to wrap it all up.

This activity is also available in a virtual format for remote teams.

Trivia Time Machine

teams that love trivia will love time machine as an intern team building activity

Step into the Outback Time Machine and take a trip through time, from pre-pandemic 21st century , through the decades, and all the way to the 60’s.

This exciting, fast-paced trivia game, packed with nostalgia and good vibes is guaranteed to produce big laughs, friendly competition, and maybe even some chair-dancing.

Your remote game show host will warm up your in-person participants with a couple of “table hopper rounds” and split you out into teams.

Within minutes, your meeting space will be transformed into a game show stage with your very own game show buzzers!

This activity is also available in a virtual format for remote teams.

Beach Staycation

colleagues will love beach staycation as a fun intern team building activity

Invite your team to hop aboard Captain Furling’s chartered yacht and transport them from your office directly to a gorgeous beach destination in Cancun.

Beach Staycation is loaded with delightful vacation destination footage, ocean soundscapes, and best-of-all, highly engaging social activities and trivia-style challenges.

If your team is in need of a vacation, some shared laughs, and social fun, this highly-engaging activity is just what they need!

This activity is also available in a virtual format for remote teams.

6. Host a Welcome Lunch

Gather your entire team for an intern team building welcome lunch. Order some food from a local restaurant and have everybody share a meal together.

This is a perfect way to get your interns acquainted with your team in a low-pressure, social environment where they can simply chat and get to know each other.

If you want to add a level of learning and professional development into the mix, you may want to incorporate a lunch and learn covering topics like:

  • Professional skills
  • Life skills
  • Company expertise and knowledge

By the way, we’ve got a resource where you can find 24 amazing lunch and learn topic ideas your team will love.

7. Sharpen Problem-Solving Skills

Going from school to the real working world can be a big jump, to say the least! That’s why the perfect intern team building activity will also serve to kick-start their brains and get them using key professional skills.

Here are a few intern team building activities that fit the bill.

Hollywood Murder Mystery

image 9

The case is fresh, but here’s what we know so far: we’ve got an up-and-coming actress who’s been found dead in her hotel room following last night’s awards show.

We have several suspects, but we haven’t been able to put the crime on any of them for sure yet. Now, it’s up to you and your team of detectives to crack the case. Together, you’ll review case files and evidence including police reports, coroners’ reports, photo evidence, tabloids, interrogations, and phone calls as you determine the motive, method, and murderer and bring justice for the victim.

You’ll need to put your problem-solving skills to the test as you share theories, collaborate, and think outside the box with your fellow investigators.

Clue Murder Mystery

a group of colleagues doing a clue murder mystery intern team building activity

You’ve probably never heard of a man named Neil Davidson. But your group will need to come together to solve the mystery of his murder by analyzing clues, resolving challenges, and figuring out who had the means, motive, and opportunity to commit a deadly crime.

This activity will challenge you and your group to approach problems analytically, read between the lines, and use critical thinking in order to identify a suspect and deliver justice.

This activity is also available in a virtual format for remote teams.

Code Break

code break is a cerebral intern team building activity

With Code Break, you and your team can learn to be adaptive and dynamic in your thinking in order to tackle any new challenges that come your way. In this activity, you’ll have to adapt your problem-solving skills as you race against the clock to tackle a variety of mixed brainteaser challenges ranging from Sudoku to puzzles, a game of Cranium, riddles, and even trivia.

This activity is also available in a virtual format for remote teams.

Corporate Escape Rooms

corporate escape rooms are a perfect intern team building activity for workgroups

When it comes to building bonds, solving problems, and putting your mental fortitude to the test, nothing beats escape rooms. They test your team’s ability to communicate and think outside the box as they strive toward a common goal.

At Outback Team Building and Training, we offer two incredible corporate escape rooms for work teams. We’ll even come to your office and transform your conference rooms or offices into escape room experiences.

This activity is also available in a virtual format for remote teams.

8. Host a Welcome Happy Hour

Who doesn’t love a couple of cocktails, some good snacks, and a bit of socialization at the office? That’s what makes happy hours such a perfect intern team building activity.

And, if you want to add an extra element of structured fun to your happy hour, you can consider incorporating one of these ideas.

Happy Hour Trivia

happy hour trivia is a great way to add intern team building to your company gathering

Hamish’s legendary happy hour trivia features two rounds of trivia questions, featuring four themed categories of your choice. With 20 category options to choose from, you’ll be sure to find the perfect themes for your team’s happy hour trivia.

With pub soundscapes, visual surprises, and warm-hearted humor, Hamish McDuff makes your guests feel like they just had a memorable happy hour with friends in a real pub, while at work! Sorry, HR!

This pub trivia game experience is guaranteed to produce plenty of laughs and lift team “spirits.” It might even include a few special surprises.

This activity is also available in a virtual format for remote teams.

Water or Not Water

Have you seen the HBO show Run? It’s what made this game really popular. If you haven’t seen it, don’t worry. This game is incredibly simple.

Essentially, all you need to do is have each team member pour a few shot glasses—some filled with a transparent alcoholic spirit and one filled with water.

During each round, one person chooses a glass and takes a shot. That player then says either that the liquid they drank was “water” or “not water.” Everyone else then takes turns guessing whether they’re telling the truth or not based on their facial expression. 

9. Do Something Charitable

Doing good is a priority for today’s employees. In fact, 73% of Americans believe it’s either “somewhat” or “very important” for companies to make the world a better place. Not only that, doing good actually makes us feel good.

So, why not set the tone early by hosting a charitable team building activity for your interns?

Charity Bike Buildathon

charity bike buildathon is a perfect philanthropic intern team building activity

Split into teams to build, decorate, and put together an advertising campaign for children’s bicycles. After each group has presented their bike, you get to donate them all to a charity of your choice!

Random Acts of Kindness

colleagues taking part in a random acts of kindness intern team building activity

Feel like getting out and spreading some kindness? We recommend it! Doing good in the world is good for you. In fact, it actually builds team morale. Random Acts of Kindness fuses the scavenger hunt concept with a philanthropic twist. This team building activity gets teams racing against one another to try and complete as many good deeds as possible before time runs out.

School Supply Scramble

school supply scramble is a perfect morale boosting philanthropic intern team building activity

Class is in session with this philanthropic activity where your team will be tested by a variety of education-themed teamwork challenges, share a special bonding experience, and support local children in need by competing to fill backpacks with school supplies and donating them to charity. 

10. Play in Your Own Game Show

Help your new interns connect with their colleagues in a fun and engaging way by staging your own game show and having your team collaborate and compete in a high-energy way.

Friendly Feud Social

If you’ve ever wanted to take part in your own Family Feud-style competition, this is your chance! With Friendly Feud Social, you and your colleagues will break out into teams to compete through survey questions focused on culture and human nature.

And, as an added social element within the game, each round of questions will be followed by a guided social mixer where you’ll have the chance to take part in a group discussion and more deeply explore the survey questions from the previous round.

Game Show Extravaganza


In this activity, teams will work collaboratively to answer trivia questions with topics ranging from pop culture to sports, world history, and beyond. Teams will earn points for each correct answer. Whichever team has the most points when time runs out will be named the winner!    

11. Create a Mentorship Program

Pairing each intern with a seasoned employee for a mentorship program can make their experience more enriching. Mentors can offer guidance, career advice, and insider knowledge about navigating the corporate world. This relationship can provide interns with a go-to person for any questions or concerns they might have, making them feel more comfortable and supported. Moreover, it offers senior employees an opportunity to improve their leadership and mentoring skills.

12. Schedule One-On-One Coffee Breaks

Encouraging interns to have coffee breaks with their peers can facilitate relationship-building. As a leader, you can make this part of their onboarding process by scheduling coffee breaks between employees and interns over the first few weeks of their employment.

Together, they can share their experiences, discuss their learning, or simply chat about non-work-related topics. This can help foster a sense of belonging while helping interns get to know their colleagues in a personal way.

13. Host Skill-Sharing Sessions

Encourage interns to host short presentations on a particular skill or interest they possess. This will not only allow them to develop their presentation skills but also facilitate knowledge sharing and mutual respect among the group.

When you’re welcoming new interns into your organization, one of the most important things is ensuring they’re comfortable, confident, and able to contribute to the success of your organization. And the best way to do that is by hosting some fun and lighthearted intern team building activities.

Does your organization do any intern team building activities for its new staff? If so, what kinds of activities do you do? Drop us a comment and let us know!

Learn about intern team building activities for your workgroup.

If you’ve got questions about intern team building activities for you and your colleagues, reach out to an Employee Engagement Consultant.