Twelve Questions To Ask To Get To Know Someone Quickly

Medically reviewed by Nikki Ciletti, M.Ed, LPC
Updated April 30, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Getting to know someone can be essential before you begin a relationship with them. However, it may not always feel like an easy experience. You may not know which questions to ask when getting to know someone or how to find connections in common. One method, to begin with, is engaging in some light and pleasant small talk and asking getting-to-know-someone questions who will not stress each other out. Coming up with a mental list of leading questions to use as conversation starters could be one method of striking up an interesting conversation with a potential connection.

Forging deep connections can be difficult

Active listening when getting to know someone 

You may benefit most from asking get-to-know-you questions if you are genuinely interested in hearing someone's answer. Take the time to actively listen and let the conversation evolve naturally. Try not to jump too quickly from question to question without discussing the person's responses. 

To actively listen, consider the following behaviors:

  • Face the speaker with your body
  • Nod or acknowledge that you heard them during pauses in the conversation
  • Don't interrupt or add your feelings or opinions until you've finished speaking about what they've said
  • Pay attention to the other person's body language
  • Repeat back what the person stated if you don't understand to ensure you gained the correct information 

Some questions may feel more appropriate than others, given the atmosphere, so try to balance what feels natural. For example, you most likely won’t want to start a conversation asking a person about the craziest thing they’ve ever done or the biggest regrets from their younger self, as those questions may reveal information too much and too soon. Instead, most people prefer starting with easier questions, like asking about a person’s first job or their pet peeves. Regardless of how you begin, the conversation may feel awkward as you get to know someone new. However, this can be normal. 

Try to be honest and vulnerable when asking questions to get to know someone. Ensure you're adding information about yourself if the individual asks you questions. You may want to build a connection instead of interviewing your new friend or love interest, and personal confession can be an important step.

Questions for getting to know someone quickly

There are several questions you can ask when getting to know someone. A popular choice is asking about a person’s favorites. For example: 

  • What’s your favorite family tradition?
  • What’s your favorite season? 
  • What’s your favorite holiday?
  • What is or was your favorite subject in school?
  • Can you tell me your favorite board game? 
  • Do you have a favorite Disney character?
  • What’s your favorite food? 
  • What’s your favorite sport to play or watch?
  • Do you have a favorite story? 
  • What’s your favorite memory from childhood?
  • What’s your favorite thing to do after work? 
  • What’s your favorite go-to karaoke song? 
  • What’s your favorite guilty pleasure? 

It’s also common to ask questions that might allow a person to give some of their best moments. For example:  

  • What’s the best vacation you’ve ever had? 
  • What’s your biggest career highlight? 
  • What’s the best concert you’ve ever attended? 
  • What’s the best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn? 
  • What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? 
  • What’s your dream job, or idea of the perfect job for you? 
  • What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
  • Has anyone ever thrown you a surprise party? Did you like it?
  • What’s one moment when you felt happier than ever??

Other creative questions can serve as more of a conversation starter, letting you discuss both of your answers in detail. For example:

  • What would your plan be in a zombie apocalypse?
  • What’s one phone app you could never live without?
  • How did you discover your favorite hobby?
  • If you met your celebrity crush, what would you do to win them over?
  • If you were a superhero, what would you want your superpower to be

Below are some more questions you might ask when trying to get to know someone new, whether they're a potential friend or romantic interest. 

What is one thing people misunderstand about you?

When was the last time someone asked you what's commonly misunderstood about you? Many individuals have something they wish people would realize or not assume about them. 

Finding this out can help you understand any parts of a person's identity that they value and may clear up any misconceptions or first impressions you have about the person and their personality traits.  

What's on your bucket list this year?

Asking someone about their bucket list may be an effective way to learn more about their dreams, values, and opinions. For example, if they want to go skydiving someday, they may be adventurous.  

If they want to go back to school, maybe they enjoy learning. It may also help you gain a sense of the person's short and long-term goals and if they mesh with your own. On the flip side, it might also reveal where they currently feel unfulfilled. If they struggle to answer this question, you can simplify it by asking things like:

  • What one event do you want to attend this year?
  • What interesting thing do you have on your to-do list this year? 
  • What do you hope to do, see, or experience in the near future? 
  • What’s one thing you want to accomplish this year in your work life?

Do you believe in second chances?

Consider asking if someone believes in second chances. This question may give you insight into someone else's level of boundaries or what they will and won't accept from a relationship, from a friend, or from a family member. 

What makes you feel accomplished?

Getting to know someone can mean finding out what is most important to them and learning what activities or accomplishments make them feel proud. You might also learn what they are most passionate about and where they invest their time and efforts. Do they enjoy being a parent, a supervisor, or a compassionate friend?

What's one thing you would like to change about yourself?

It can be normal for people to want to change something about themselves, whether it's a physical attribute or a skill they wish they could master. They may say something like, "I wish I weren't so nervous in public," or "I would like to be able to make friends more easily." To make this question a bit more lighthearted, you can also ask something like, “If you had a warning label, what would it say?”

Consider telling your own answer to this question to take the person out of the spotlight if they feel nervous about their answer. 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

You may have heard this question in a job interview in the past. Learning where someone wants to be in five years may tell you what goals they're setting for themselves. For example, maybe they want to own their own business or start a family. If you're looking for a long-term partner, this might be a way of knowing if you're working toward a similar future or if you have the same values. 

If you could live forever, what would you do?

What would they do if time were not an issue? Asking this question may help you understand someone's morals or values. They might also use humor to deal with hypothetical situations. It can be a fun and exciting way to learn more about their personality. 

What’s your biggest regret?

This question can dig a little deeper into a person’s history, but if they’re comfortable answering it, it can give you a lot of insight into who they are as a person. It can also give you an opportunity to see how they’ve changed over time and grown as a person.

How do you define beauty?

Hearing a person describe what they consider to be beautiful can tell you a lot about them. For example, describing a scene in nature may tell you they enjoy being outdoors or like to travel.

How would you want to be remembered if you passed? 

Asking what someone would like others to remember about them when they die may be a more intense question, but the person may appreciate your forwardness. 

You might learn more about what the person values above all else. For example, they may want to be remembered as a loving sister or daughter to their own family members, or perhaps they want to be remembered as a hard worker who always met their goals. 

If you could master one new skill, what would it be?

Find out the activities or hobbies they may already be good at and what they would enjoy trying. Maybe it's a skill you could teach them or a skill you could learn together. For example, if you both want to learn to cook, you could try a cooking class. 

What would your perfect day look like?

Many people have an idea of a perfect day. Learning someone's idea of fun or excitement can be a way to know more about their hobbies, go-to guilty pleasure activities, and interests. You might use their ideal day as inspiration and schedule the activities they enjoy in the future.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

Asking about a person’s most embarrassing moment – and telling the story of your own – can give you both something to laugh about in retrospect. Additionally, it can provide you with some guidance on what your new friend or partner is embarrassed by in general, so you can avoid those things in the future.

What is your biggest fear?

Depending on where you are in your relationship, this question could be surface-level or go a little deeper. For example, a fear of whales is common for people who have never encountered one, but a fear of something more specific may have a story behind it.

What makes you happiest?

Picking one thing that makes someone happiest may be difficult, but it may also offer a way for someone to have joy. Pay attention to what they value. Do you show those values? Do you believe those values are shallow or silly? This insight may be a way to see what you have in common on a base level. If this question is too broad, you can try some either/or questions like: 

  • Do you prefer watching TV or reading books? 
  • Would you rather spend time outside or inside?
  • Do you prefer parties or intimate gatherings?

Who's your biggest hero?

Knowing an individual's heroes may help you understand what traits they admire in others. For example, they may value selflessness if they find their dad to be a hero because he saved lives as a firefighter. They might value knowledge or telling information if they value their past teacher due to what they learned in school. They may value humor or be really into entertainment if they answer with their favorite superhero.

Counseling for relationship concerns 

Therapy has benefits for people from various walks of life. You may find that therapy supports you in learning to solve problems, communicate more efficiently, or get a third-party opinion on an issue you're confused about. In today's age, many individuals find online therapy beneficial, as it allows affordability.  

Online therapy may benefit you if you struggle with social anxiety or interpersonal relationships. In one study, 71% of individuals found online therapy more effective than traditional in-person counseling. The American Psychological Association also lists online therapy as an effective treatment option

If you're interested in trying this treatment modality, several online platforms, such as BetterHelp, offer a platform of therapists specializing in various concerns.


If you're getting to know someone new, asking leading questions may teach you more about what they value, their personality, and whether or not you're compatible. 

If you're struggling with starting relationships or would appreciate professional advice, counseling is another beneficial and effective option. Consider reaching out to a therapist to get started.

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