There will be several times in life during which you will want to get to know someone better. Be it someone from college, the new guy in town, colleagues at your new workplace, etc.
While doing this, you cannot come across as being too inquisitive. You need to ask the right questions, at the right moment so as not to offend anyone’s feelings. You after-all wouldn’t know how comfortable the person will be to answer questions you ask.
The best way to get to know someone is with time. With constant and regular interaction, you will eventually get to know a person and more importantly understand the person.
When asking questions to get to know a person better, make it fun and interesting rather than boring and probing. Let the person feel like as though you are genuinely interested in finding out about them.
Instead of asking questions, you could even make use of a game to get to know someone better. Games like 20 questions are really apt for this; it also helps ensure a two way communication whereby the person can ask you back 20 questions. That way, you both get to know a little more about each other.
Another way to do get to know someone is to ask a few questions at a time and not too many directly. You don’t want to scare away the person with too many questions at a time.
Some simple, direct questions that can be asked through daily chatter are:
1. What was your favorite food as a child?
2. Who named you, your mom or dad?
3. Who is your favorite singer at the moment?
4. Who has been an all-time favorite?
5. How many siblings do you have?
6. What is the one thing you are truly passionate about?
7. What was your first job?
8. What is your dream job?
9. Do you like what you do?
10. What is your favorite color?
11. Why do you like living / working here?
12. What is the one thing you absolutely hate doing but one that you have to do every day?
13. What was your favorite sport in college?
14. What is your favorite all-time movie?
15. Do you ever wish you could be someone else, if yes, who?
Hypothetical questions also work well. Moreover they help you learn more about the person’s personality and preferences in life. For instance questions like:
1. If you could have a boat, what would you name it?
The name a person chooses will help you understand the person. If a person says he’d name a boat “Hamlet” for example, well, it’s easy to figure that the person might have liked literary novels written in the old days; by Shakespeare or that he feels a connection with characters like Hamlet.
2. If you could change something about your past, what would it be?
If a person says he’d like to change everything about his childhood, you’ll understand that he has a lot many deep rooted regrets in life.
3. If you could bring one person back from the dead, who would it be?
If the person answers “my mother”, its simple to guess that they had a strong relationship with their mother and they miss having her around for guidance.
4. If you won a million dollars, what would you do with the money?
The answer will tell you a lot about a person’s dreams and wishes for life. Maybe you can be a good friend and help them achieve a wish or two from the list later on.
5. If you could have a super power, what would it be?
This will give you an insight on what the person admired as a child and which super hero he looked up to. You can understand and guess a lot about a person who liked Superman for instance and one, who likes Spider-man, can’t you?
6. If you were buying a puppy, what breed would you buy and what would you name it?
Again, like naming the boat, the choice of dog name will help you see what the person is like in terms of personality.
7. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Here again, you will get to understand a bit about a person’s mindset and wish.
8. If you met a genie who granted you a wish, what would you wish for?
This is another question to extract information about a person’s deepest wishes and desires.
9. If you could go to space, where in space would you choose to go?
If a person were to choose Pluto, you could guess that the person wants to go as far away from his present life as possible but if the person says they’d like to go Mars then maybe he is just keen to explore a little bit and maybe he is adventurous.
10. If the world ended in 2012, what would you do before?
This question will help you understand what’s important to a person.
You could also include some random questions or questions that lead to you spending more time with the person:
1. Would you like to go shopping this afternoon?
2. What is your favorite time of day?
3. Which is your favorite Sunday shopping destination?
Mixing personal and past questions are also a known way of getting to know someone better. Once you have spent some time with the person then asking a few personal questions occasionally will be a good way of getting to know someone. They won’t mind answering them at this point. But of course, one has to be careful so as to not appear overly curious.
1. What do you generally do on Sundays?
2. Why did you choose to get married so early?
3. What childhood memory do you miss the most?
4. What is the hardest thing you have ever had to do?
5. What did you spend your first salary on?
6. What’s the best gift you have ever received?
7. At what age did you decide to follow this profession?
8. Who were you closer to as a kid, your mom or dad?
9. What is the one thing that makes you extremely nervous?