What Are Some Good Questions To Ask To Get To Know Someone?
By Toni Hoy
Updated February 06, 2020
Reviewer Cessel Boyd
Do you find it fairly easy to make small talk with someone you don't know well? Everyone has different parts of themselves and their personalities. What are some good questions to ask to get to know someone that go beyond surface talk and being acquaintances?
Getting to know someone is like peeling back the layers of an onion. The more that you talk to them about themselves and what makes them tick, the deeper you go into the layers of their personality and get to the core of who they really are.
Ask the Question and Dig a Little Deeper
Have you ever thought that you knew someone pretty well and then discovered that you didn't know them as well as you thought? That might be because you stopped at the first question.
A great strategy is to ask one question, and then ask two more.
When you ask someone how they are doing and they answer, "Fine," follow it up with two questions that explore what "fine" really means.
"What made everything fine in your life today?"
"What is putting the smile on your face today?"
The following questions will prompt them to share what really is fine or turn the conversation to a more truthful answer.
Good Questions to Ask to Get to Know Someone by Category
Think about asking people about the different facets of their lives like family, travel, career plans and pets.
Instead of asking them to tell you about their family, ask if they are closer to their mom or dad. What are the stories that made their childhood great or bad?
Find out what trips they've taken and where they'd go if money and time weren't obstacles. If they've always wanted to go to Italy, what would be on the itinerary? What foods would they want to try? What is something they'd like to bring home to remember the trip?
What is the best thing about their career? Are they planning to make a career change? What are they doing now to plan for it? How do they anticipate it might change their lives in the future?
You can learn a lot about people by how they feel about pets. Are they a dog, cat, or wild animal person? Or do they live in a pet-free zone? Do they have any funny pet stories to share? How did they deal with the loss of a pet?
Good Questions to Ask to Get to Know Someone's Life
When you've moved past the point of learning how someone feels about basic things, it's appropriate to ask deeper questions about who they are as people. The "ask one question, then two more" rule applies here too.
What is a regular day like for you? Are you an early morning person or do you prefer to sleep in when you can? Are you a neat freak or is it ok to leave your socks on the floor?
People may warn you to stay away from soliciting opinions about politics and religion, but those are solid parts of who we are, so don't shy away from them.
Swapping bucket lists is a great way to get to know someone better and for them to know you better as well.
The more questions you ask, the better you will know someone. They'll be glad you did.