100 Of The Best Questions To Ask People To Get To Know Them
Sometimes you meet someone, and you instantly click. There are no awkward pauses or lulls in the conversation – you feel like you’ve both known one another for much longer than you have.
But for those less seamless instances where you’re looking to get to know someone, knowing the right questions to ask people to get a conversation started is key. Maybe you’re new at work and need conversation starters for a fun way to foster connections with coworkers. Or perhaps you’re headed to a party where you don’t know many attendees, and want to have some funny random questions to introduce yourself and set the mood.
What kinds of questions to get to know someone are the right ones to start with? In her book Take Your Marriage from Good to Great, Terri Orbuch, Ph.D., suggests beginning with ‘getting to know you’ questions that are what she refers to as “breadth questions.” These questions aren’t overly personal, but also aren’t hypothetical questions either. Instead, they are questions that focus on a person’s biological story: such as their family history, chosen career path and marital status.
For example, you can ask what their favorite holiday is, or what the one food they could eat for rest of their life is. You can also ask what the best gift they ever received was, or even about the most ridiculous outfit they’ve ever worn.
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You can’t expect to know every detail of someone’s entire life, but these fun questions to ask people are a great place to start getting to know them. This article will also cover questions to ask people in the workplace, funny questions to ask people, random questions to ask, and questions to get to know someone fast.
Whether professional or personal, platonic or romantic, present or past, relationships teach all of us valuable lessons, so it’s worth our while to try to develop them. No matter what social outing you’re headed to next, these “get to know you” questions to ask people will help you turn new acquaintances into friends.
20 Starter Questions To Ask People
These “get to know you” questions work well in just about any setting. An open-ended question invites more than just a one-word response and helps identify shared interests between those partaking in the conversation.
Here are some questions to ask that encourage deeper dialogue within a group. Try asking these questions to get to know someone at an upcoming event or social gathering.
- If you had the option to live anywhere, where would you choose?
- What was the last movie you saw in theaters?
- What’s your biggest pet peeve?
- How would you spend an ideal Sunday?
- Would you rather take a vacation to Alaska or Hawaii?
- What’s your most hated household chore? If you could hire someone to help with yard work, cleaning or cooking – which would you choose?
- What’s your go-to karaoke song?
- What motivates you?
- What’s the most interesting thing about your current career path?
- If you won the lottery, what kind of crazy stuff would you do?
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- What’s your favorite zoo animal – and are you a cat person or a dog person?
- What was the last book you read?
- Did you ever have a favorite family tradition that no one else does?
- Who do people say you look like?
- Do you have any siblings? What are they like?
- If a genie could grant you three wishes, what would they be?
- What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received?
- If you could time travel, would you visit the past or the future?
- What’s the strangest food you’ve ever tried, and what’s your favorite food?
- What’s the worst hairstyle you ever tried?
Workplace “Get To Know You” Questions
Asking “get to know you” questions at work has plenty of benefits. Whether you’re managing a team or working your way up the ladder, knowing and appreciating the interests and background of your co-workers can help foster teamwork, and creates a stronger team dynamic.
It also makes showing up to work every day a little bit more bearable. Here are some get to know you questions to ask in the workplace that can go a long way in creating camaraderie.
- What’s the worst job you had in your youth?
- What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you at work?
- What’s the one professional skill you learned the hard way at a past job?
- Are you an early bird or a night person?
- What’s one job no one could pay you enough to do?
- What’s the best compliment you ever received?
- Who has been the best mentor during your career?
- What’s one piece of advice you learned at work that’s stuck with you?
- Who was the worst boss you ever had?
- What was the most complicated task you’ve had to handle at work? How did you accomplish it?
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- If you could change career paths, what would you do instead?
- What do you wish you could do more of in your current role?
- What show are you currently watching?
- Do you consider yourself creative?
- How long is your commute?
- What’s your favorite way to celebrate your birthday? (Then, casually ask when it is and remember it!)
- Do you have any pets?
- Do you live with someone, and if so, which one is the clean or messy person?
- Are you more extroverted or introverted?
- Do you work better in an open office environment, or do you prefer closed-door concepts?
Funny Questions To Ask People
Did you know that making someone laugh makes you more likable? Laughter releases endorphins (those hormones in our body that make us feel good). When you make a person laugh, they associate you with these positive feelings. Comedy can be a helpful tool in establishing new friendships. Here are a few “get to know you” questions to ask that are sure to earn a good laugh – and lead to engaging conversation.
- Is cereal soup?
- Is a hot dog a sandwich?
- Are dumplings ravioli?
- What’s the funniest pet name you can think of?
- How would you defend yourself during a zombie apocalypse?
- If animals could talk, which would be the rudest?
- What body part do you feel like humans are lacking?
- What’s the most useless invention of all time?
- Who’s the most underrated fictional character?
- What cartoon pizza do you wish you could eat?
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- What’s a TV show from your childhood no one remembers but you?
- Would you rather have no hair on your head or an excessive amount of hair on your body?
- Have you ever fallen in public?
- What’s the weirdest snack you’ve tried?
- What’s the worst pickup line you’ve ever used or heard?
- What’s a candle scent that should never be invented?
- Would you rather be a dragon or own one?
- How many 7-year-olds do you think you could fight off before they’d overpower you?
- What’s the grossest food you ate, just to be polite?
- What’s a strange family tradition you have?
Random Questions To Ask
If you’ve hit a lull in the conversation or want to change up the trajectory of the topic at hand, these are the questions to ask. Here’s a list of random “get to know you” questions that are funny and telling. These questions to ask people might just make you the party favorite, so be sure to use them wisely.
1. What’s the craziest thing you’ve eaten for breakfast?
2. What’s your most embarrassing story as a teenager?
3. What’s something you haven’t been able to cook?
4. What’s your favorite way to spend time alone?
5. Who was your best friend in school that you don’t see anymore?
6. What hidden talents do you have? Or what is your most useless talent?
7. What do you never leave the house without?
8. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this month?
9. What’s the best purchase you ever made?
10. If aliens offered to take you back to their planet, would you go?
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11. What’s your favorite board game?
12. What does your favorite wardrobe item look like?
13. What’s the oldest piece of clothing you have in your closet?
14. What would your superpower be?
15. If you could wake up with an unlimited supply of anything, what would it be?
16. What name would you have chosen for yourself?
17. If you could get away with a crime, which would you commit and why?
18. If you could teleport, where would you go?
19. Would you rather be the funniest or most intelligent person in the room?
20. Would you rather lose all of your photos or all your money?
Questions To Get To Know Someone Fast
We’ve asked interesting questions that can be asked in any setting, questions to ask people in the workplace, funny questions to ask people and random questions to ask people. Now, let’s take a look at questions to ask to get to know someone fast.
These open-ended questions may seem casual at first glance, but the responses will reveal more than you may think about the person you’re getting to know.
- How would your friends describe you?
It can be challenging to talk about ourselves or see our best qualities clearly. Asking these type of personal questions helps get to know a person through the lens of their friendships and gets them thinking about how others who value their time and presence perceive them.
- What advice would you give to your younger self?
This “get to know you” question reveals a lot about someone’s personal growth and development and can show how far they’ve come in their journey.
- What personality traits do you share with your family?
Not only does this help you get to know someone’s family makeup, but it also reveals how a person feels about the traits they share with a particular family member. This question opens up the possibility of a deeper conversation, depending on whether or not they’re happy they’ve inherited this trait or are working to correct it.
- What are you most proud of this past year?
Asking a get to know you question focused on recent accomplishments shows what a person values most. Putting a time frame on this question keeps the conversation relevant.
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- What makes you feel accomplished?
This is a great question to ask following the one above. We all have different motivators for what makes us feel accomplished, and finding out what generates that sense of accomplishment helps us gain a deeper understanding of what drives a person.
- What are the essential traits of a good friend?
Whether you’re asking this “get to know you” question to a new acquaintance, coworker or even someone you may already know pretty well, this question reveals the crucial values to a person regarding their relationships.
- What’s the most effective way for someone to earn your trust?
Trust is earned. If your end goal of getting to know someone is to establish a long-term friendship or relationship, having this information up front will help you strengthen that bond.
- What’s on your bucket list?
This question helps you get to know someone by taking a glimpse into their interests. Bucket list items could be financial goals like owning a home, traveling to an exotic place or adrenaline-inducing experiences like skydiving. Knowing the answer to this question helps you learn more about a person’s hobbies and interests.
- What do you regret not doing this past year?
We all have something on our list that we just haven’t gotten around to doing. Asking this interesting question helps get to know what’s important to a person and what their current barriers are to achieving what they wanted to over a year.
- Who are your newest family members?
Whether it’s by way of a wedding or a new baby, welcoming new members to your family is an exciting topic to talk about. This question helps you get to know a person’s current family dynamic.
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- Which member of your family are you closest to?
This “get to know you” question can inspire deeper conversation depending on the context behind why a person is closest to a particular family member. Perhaps they grew up in a single-parent household or were an only child raised with lots of cousins.
- Do you believe in second chances? Why?
How a person responds to this question, when phrased this particular way, can be very telling. Maybe this person was offered a second chance, and it made a huge difference in their life trajectory. Or they offered someone a second chance, only to end up regretting it.
- When you’re wrong, is it easy for you to admit it?
No one likes to admit when they’re wrong. But this “get to know you” question helps reveal a person’s self-awareness on how they react when they realize it.
- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?
We all have our insecurities, but how we face them says a lot about us. Ending the question with “and why?” invites the person to share how this trait may have held them back or impacted them in life, which can help build intimacy between two people.
- What’s something spontaneous you’ve done recently?
If you’re getting to know someone who you’d like to spend time with again in the future, this is a great question to ask that will help inform future plans. If this person struggles to identify a recent time where they did something without planning it, you may want to ask and establish a plan to spend time with one another in advance, rather than reach out spontaneously.
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- What’s a movie or book that speaks to you, and why?
Taste in movies and literature is subjective. This is an interesting question that will likely reveal a particular experience that the person shares with the plot or characters in the film or book, which can help you get to know them on a deeper level.
- Who’s someone you can talk to about anything?
Having a support system is crucial. Hearing a person talk about the go-to individual in their life who will listen no matter what helps to understand their personal relationships better.
- What are you most grateful for?
This “get to know you” question helps you get to know what’s truly important to a person, what they value and why.
- What’s the most exciting thing that’s happened to you recently?
The answer to this question might be something small – like finding $20 in an old jacket – or tremendous, like an engagement or new job. If the person you ask this question to responds with “nothing ever exciting happens to me,” encourage them to dig deeper.
- Growing up, who was your favorite teacher and why?
Having a favorite teacher is a universal experience we can all relate to. This “get to know you” question may bring up a funny story from childhood or an impactful life lesson that has stuck with the person.
Social connection is essential to our overall health and well-being. Studies have shown that solid relationships correlate to a higher rate of happiness. However, as we get older, fostering new friendships and relationships tends to feel more difficult.
Dale Carnegie, the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People once said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” Talking about yourself at a party or group setting will only get you so far, but expressing genuine interest in the lives of others goes a long way in establishing new social contacts, expand your network and grow your social circle. This is why having “get to know you” questions ready to ask can be beneficial.
Asking “get to know you” questions can help get you interested in others to make new connections and grow relationships. Keep this list of questions to ask handy the next time you find yourself in a scenario where you’ll be meeting new people – or have the potential to grow your social connections. You can make somebody else feel heard, and that curiosity will go a long way! Seize the moment.