Some people have a very specific super power that the rest of the population will forever envy: the gift of small talk. If you’re a member of this elite society, hats off to you. But if the thought of having to chat to a coworker, romantic interest, family friend, or stranger on the train about the weather makes you physically recoil, you’re far from the only one (especially if you live with social anxiety). Trying to get to know someone is an exhaustive business — one that many people deem too tedious a task and unworthy of the effort. That’s why the type of “getting to know you” questions you ask can make or break the conversation.
The goal is to spark interesting dialogue that makes you both want to participate in the conversation — instead of panicked time-checks and exit scans. Asking questions is a quick way to get to know someone, so long as you’re asking good questions that scratch beneath the surface. According to couples consultant and coach Lesli Doares, keeping them open-ended is a good idea, so the other person can elaborate and reveal more about themself than a simple “yes” or “no” answer. "This enables you to see how well you match up on the important things like values, interests, and priorities," she previously told Bustle. You’re going to be able to tell a lot more about a person based on their description as to why Dill Pickle is the best Lays flavor than you are if you ask them if they noticed how windy it’s been lately.
In the spirit of never having to brave a small talk conversation again, here is the ultimate set of “getting to know you” questions for every situation. Whether you’re struggling to peel back the layers of a tight-lipped date, trying to learn about a potential new friend, or just want to get to know your coworker better (you’re together 40 hours a week, after all), ask these to spark a genuine conversation and get to know someone better.
Getting To Know You Questions To Ask On A Date
- What’s your love language?
- Would you rather vacation to the beach or a cabin in the woods?
- What was your favorite subject in high school?
- When was the last time you laughed until you cried?
- Are you a dog or a cat person?
- Do you take the stairs or elevator?
- If you could only listen to one artist for the rest of your life, who would it be?
- What’s your repeat comfort show?
- What can you eat every day and never get tired of?
- What’s your favorite time of day?
- What was your most questionable haircut?
- What would you do with $1 million?
- What’s the worst date you’ve ever been on?
Getting To Know You Questions To Ask A Coworker
- What was your first job?
- Do you have any side hustles?
- Do you collect anything?
- What was the last book you read?
- Is there a job you’d never do?
- If you could choose your own work schedule, what would it look like?
- What job would you be terrible at?
- Do you have a bucket list? If so, what’s on it?
- If you could magically be gifted with any talent, what would it be?
- What’s your favorite way to spend your free time?
- What’s the last show you marathon-watched on Netflix?
- What are your favorite podcasts?
- Do you play any sports or instruments?
Getting To Know You Questions To Ask A New Friend
- If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
- What songs do you have memorized word for word?
- What’s something you’ve always wanted to learn to do?
- What was the most trouble you got into as a kid?
- How did your parents meet?
- Who’s your biggest fictional hero?
- Do you put ketchup, mustard, or both on your hot dogs?
- If you were any type of animal, what would you be?
- Do you have any phobias?
- Do you believe in aliens?
- What would be the perfect way to spend your birthday?
- Breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
- Hot drinks or iced?
Personal Getting To Know You Questions
- What’s your zodiac sign?
- What’s your deepest fear?
- What does your name mean and why was it chosen?
- If you could time travel, would you go to the future or the past?
- If you could write a book, what would it be about?
- What do you think happens after we die?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Do you have any pet peeves?
- Do you know your Myers Briggs personality type?
- Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
- What’s one thing you were not prepared for in adulthood?
- What’s one thing that always cheers you up?
- What are you passionate about?
Funny Getting To Know You Questions
- What’s a random fact you know that most people don’t?
- What’s your theme song?
- Which era do you think your face matches most?
- What’s your plan for survival in a zombie apocalypse?
- If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be?
- If you accidentally got famous, what would it be for?
- What’s your favorite sleeping position?
- If your home town was a celebrity, who would it be?
- What’s a false thing you learned as a kid that you believed for way too long?
- What’s the worst/weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
- Do you have any superstitions?
- If you could ask your pet one question, what would it be?
- What’s the strangest “wrong number” text you’ve ever received?