Good Small Talk Questions

Approaching new people can be quite scary. By opening up, we make ourselves vulnerable. Small talk is a great way to “test the grounds”, so to speak. It’s useful for bonding with a new person in your life, and in situations where a more personal dialogue might not be appropriate.

Here are some good small talk questions for many occasions and social settings that can be used with strangers and people you know.

  1. Small talk conversation starters
  2. Small talk questions to get to know someone you just met
  3. Casual questions for small talk
  4. Fun small talk questions
  5. Party questions
  6. Small talk questions for an acquaintance
  7. Small talk questions to ask a guy
  8. Small talk questions to ask a girl
  9. Small talk conversation topics

Small talk conversation starters

  1. What do you like the most about your job?
  2. What do you do when you’re not working?
  3. What do you like the most about living here?
  4. You prefer living in the countryside or in a city?
  5. Do you prefer to visit people or have guests?
  6. What would you do if you never had to work?
  7. Are you a morning or evening person?
  8. Do you know any good gyms here in the city?
  9. Did you hear [story] on the news today?
  10. Very nice weather today, isn’t it?
  11. Do you like board games or video games?
  12. How does a good day start for you?
  13. What’s your favorite cuisine?

Small talk questions to get to know someone you just met

  1. Nice to meet you, what’s your name?
  2. How do you know people here?
  3. Are you from around here?
  4. Do you come here often?
  5. Have we met before?
  6. Do you watch movies?
  7. Do you like music?
  8. Do you have any hobbies?
  9. What do you do?
  10. What brings you here?
  11. What do you think of this place?
  12. How was your trip here?
  13. Are you into sports?
  14. Do you follow tech trends and news?
  15. What’s your favorite music genre?
  16. Do you follow any internet personalities?
  17. Do you have a TV at home?

Check out our complete list with 222 questions to ask to get to know someone here.

Casual questions for small talk

  1. Have you seen any good movies lately?
  2. Do you have any plans for the weekend?
  3. What’s your favorite color?
  4. How was your weekend?
  5. What do you usually do in your free time?
  6. Windows or Mac?
  7. When you’re buying a new phone, how do you pick the one you like?
  8. How do you guys know each other?
  9. Do you ever go to any kind of live shows?
  10. Do you watch [Insert TV-show]?
  11. What’s one spot that I should definitely visit in this city?
  12. Is there a phone app you really need that doesn’t exist?
  13. Do you have any pets?
  14. What food do you like the most?
  15. What food do you like the least?
  16. Do you have a TV at home?
  17. Do you prefer comedies or dramas?
  18. How was the traffic today?

Fun small talk questions

  1. What’s the absolute worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?
  2. You’re on death row for kidnapping a puppy. What’s your food of choice? Would you get stuffed or eat a light meal?
  3. Do you ever feel like you’re in a movie?
  4. If you could turn into an animal for a week – provided that you’d survive – which one would you pick?
  5. Pizza or tacos?
  6. What’s the first thing you’d do after winning the lottery?
  7. What would you call your autobiography?
  8. If you had the power to create one thing perfectly, just as you imagined it, what would it be?
  9. If you were a band leader – what kinda music do you play and what’s your band called?
  10. An all-out war between cats and dogs: who wins and why?
  11. What’s the silliest thing you’d do if you had unlimited money and resources?
  12. Would you rather fight a horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?
  13. How’d you feel if you couldn’t use your smartphone for a year?
  14. How many five-year-olds could you fight at the same time?
  15. If you owned a gay bar, what would you call it?
  16. If you could only celebrate one holiday, which one would it be?
  17. So what came first, the chicken or the egg?

Party questions

  1. How do you know the people here?
  2. How are you liking the party so far?
  3. Hey, what’s your name?
  4. Do you want a drink?
  5. What’s that you’re drinking?
  6. How many drinks are you on?
  7. The cake is delicious, have you tried it?
  8. What’s your favorite thing here?
  9. Have you tried the [food or drink on the table]?
  10. Do you know what song it is that they’re playing?
  11. Is it always this many people here?
  12. Do you know anyone here?
  13. How do you guys know each other?
  14. What do you think about the music?
  15. How long do those parties usually last?
  16. Do you come here often?
  17. Do these parties happen often?
  18. Did you come here alone?
  19. Do you like this place?
  20. Wanna go out for some fresh air?

Small talk questions for an acquaintance

  1. What’s your favorite holiday?
  2. How did you get your current job position?
  3. Do you think wearing eyeglasses would be a good look for me?
  4. What’s your favorite time of the day/year?
  5. Do you enjoy how hectic the holidays feel sometimes or do you dislike it?
  6. How’s the house renovation coming along?
  7. How was the vacation? Where’d you go?
  8. Do you like guns?
  9. What’s your favorite beverage?
  10. How are the kids?
  11. Remember how I mentioned [something]? Well, guess what happened?
  12. Last time you mentioned that [something]. How did it go?
  13. Do you like the people that you work with?
  14. Planning a party sometime soon?

Small talk questions to ask a guy

  1. What do you think about long-distance relationships?
  2. Do you prefer big parties or the ones where everyone knows each other?
  3. Are you good at cooking?
  4. Do you like dancing?
  5. Do you think it’s okay to have bad habits?
  6. Ever think about starting a family?
  7. Would you learn a new language to break the language barrier with someone you love?
  8. Would you follow your significant other if they got a big promotion at work?
  9. What would your perfect date look like?
  10. Do you like it when people “play games” with each other?
  11. Ever stole someone’s heart by accident?
  12. Do you follow fashion trends?
  13. If you were into collecting, what kind of things would you collect?

Small talk questions to ask a girl

  1. Do you have any siblings?
  2. What kind of people do you follow on social media?
  3. Would you ever want to live in another country?
  4. Do you need to see your friends often?
  5. How do you balance work and personal life?
  6. Would you consider moving halfway across the world for someone you love?
  7. Can life be fulfilling if you don’t have anyone to share it with?
  8. How much time would you want to spend with your ideal partner?
  9. Do you drink alcohol?
  10. What’s the best way to deal with a breakup?
  11. Ever had a crush on someone online?
  12. What kind of behavior do you find unattractive?
  13. Have you ever considered plastic surgery?

Good small talk conversation topics

1. Hobbies

Most people love talking about stuff they’re passionate about. And if someone has a hobby, they most certainly have passion for it – that’s what hobbies are, after all.

You can ask the person about something they’re already into, or go with something like “Are there any hobbies you’re thinking of starting up?”

2. Food

While not everyone is a big foodie, most people do tend to eat something once in a while. So there’s a pretty big chance that it’s gonna be a topic that the other person can relate to.

Asking about preferences is always a safe bet: “Salt or sugar?”, or you could venture a bit deeper and talk about preparing meals at home: “What’s your cooking specialty?”

3. Weather

It doesn’t get too deep and it’s easily relatable. So it can be a pretty good option to start off with, later transitioning into other, perhaps more interesting topics, if the conversation does pick up.

You could ask them for a personal opinion with something like “Do you think it’s going to rain today?”, or “Do you think this weather is gonna keep up for much longer”. Or you could go with a more practical “Do you know what the weather will be like today?”, but only if you genuinely want to know what the weather is gonna be like.

4. Work

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Work can be a good topic for small talk – expectations, plans, funny stories, comparing your work environments, etc.

“Is your current job what you expected it to be?”. And if you know the other person doesn’t like their job very much, you can let them vent a little by asking something like, “What’s your most frustrating moment at work?”

5. Entertainment

Pretty much everyone is into something – movies, shows, books, music, theater, youtube, you name it. It’s a fun one to talk about, and it’s a great way to find commonalities.

There are endless questions you can ask when it comes to entertainment, but your best bet is asking about things the other person likes: “Do you like [Genre]?”, “Have you read any good books lately?”, or something like “Do you prefer movies that make you think or the ones that let you relax?”

6. News

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You probably shouldn’t go too much into controversial or political themes when it comes to talking about the news casually, but talking about safer, rather more positive happenings – local or around the world – can be a good idea.

You can either bring up something interesting you’ve heard or ask them about something they’ve heard about: “Have you heard anything interesting lately?”, “Do you follow the news?”. The news don’t necessarily have to be huge and world defining – it can even be something simple, like a good new local restaurant opening.

7. Traveling

It’s a topic that lets you learn more about the person you’re talking to – their lifestyle, the way they like to spend their time and even their goals in life. Besides, travel is usually associated with vacation time, so it’s a pretty positive thing to talk about as well.

If you don’t know whether the person went on any trips recently, you can ask them about some of their latest travels. Alternatively, you can go for something more general, like “What’s your favorite trip ever?” or “How do you feel about being away from home when traveling?”

Click here to read our complete guide on how to make small talk.

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Viktor is a Counselor specialized in interpersonal communication and relationships. He manages Socialpro’s scientific review board. Follow on Twitter or read more.

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