152 Great Small Talk Questions (For Every Situation)

Approaching new people can be quite scary. By opening up, we make ourselves vulnerable. Small talk is a great way to “test the grounds”. 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.

Sections

The 10 best small talk questions

The best small talk questions are safe and easy to answer. These questions are good to try when you don’t want to take too much risk. They can also be a good bet when your small talk partner is resistant to talk.

Here is a list of questions you could include in practically any small talk setting:

1. How do you know people here?
&nbsp
2. How do you like to have fun?
&nbsp
3. How does a good day start for you?

4. What do you like doing when you’re not working?
&nbsp
5. What kind of TV show do you like the most?
&nbsp
6. What do you like to do on the weekends?

7. Where are you originally from?
&nbsp
8. What type of music do you like?
&nbsp
9. What’s your favorite food?

Small talk conversation starters

Despite the name, conversation starters are not only for starting conversations. They may also be helpful to renew a conversation that is getting dry. You may use them when you want to fill up a weird silence or change subjects too.

Here are some conversation starters for you to begin with or for a fresh restart:

1. What brings you here?
&nbsp
2. What do you do when you’re not working?
&nbsp
3. What do you like the most about living here?

4. Where would you like to live if not here?
&nbsp
5. What’s your favorite kind of place to meet people?
&nbsp
6. What’s your favorite electronic gadget?

7. What would you change in this place right now?
&nbsp
8. What kind of TV show do you like the most?
&nbsp
9. How often do you come here?

10. What are the best gyms here in the city?
&nbsp
11. What do you think of [story] on the news today?
&nbsp
12. What type of weather do you like the most?

13. What games do you miss from when you were a kid?
&nbsp
14. How does a good day start for you?
&nbsp
15. What’s your favorite cuisine?

17. What are your plans for your next vacation?

You might also like this list of light-hearted conversation starters.

Small talk questions to get to know someone you just met

When you first meet someone, you want to collect clues about their personality and mutual interests. A good strategy here is to link the questions to something related to the environment. This way, your questions won’t be seen as coming out of the blue.

For example, if you just muted a call from your phone, you could ask about their favorite phone apps. Or, if you are in a hotel bar, you could ask them where they come from or why are they in there.

Here are some questions you can try to get valuable hints about new people:

1. How do you know people here?
&nbsp
2. What brings you here?
&nbsp
3. Where are you originally from?

4. Do you come here often?
&nbsp
5. What type of movies do you like?
&nbsp
6. What genre of music do you like?

7. What have you seen on TV?
&nbsp
8. What are your hobbies?
&nbsp
9. What do you do?

10. What would you do if you were to pick another profession?
&nbsp
11. What are the best places to have fun around here?
&nbsp
12. What do you think of this place?

13. How was your trip here?
&nbsp
14. What makes you smile?
&nbsp
15. What do you think of sports?

16. What’s your favorite mobile app?
&nbsp
17. What kind of news do you like to follow?
&nbsp
18. Who do you think are the most interesting internet personalities today?

19. Which kind of party do you like the most?
&nbsp
20. How do you like to have fun?
&nbsp

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

Casual questions for small talk

If you are just killing time or you don’t know much about the person, casual questions are the way to avoid weird silences without too much commitment.

Here are some examples of casual questions that could be helpful in such situations.

1. Have you seen any good movies lately?
&nbsp
2. How’s your day been so far?
&nbsp
3. How do you like to spend your vacations?

4. What do you think about the colors of that [thing in the environment]?
&nbsp
5. How was your weekend?
&nbsp
6. What do you usually do in your free time?

7. What is your favorite electronic gadget?
&nbsp
8. When you’re buying a new phone, how do you pick the one you like?
&nbsp
9. How do you guys know each other?

10. What kind of live shows do you like the most?
&nbsp
11. Which TV shows do you like to watch?
&nbsp
12. What’s one spot that I should definitely visit in this city?

13. Is there a phone app you really need that doesn’t exist?
&nbsp
14. Which pets do you find the cutest?
&nbsp
15. What food do you like the most?

16. What food do you like the least?
&nbsp
17. What is the best household appliance ever invented?
&nbsp
18. What is your movie genre?

19. How was the traffic from where you came?
&nbsp
20. What do you think of weather forecasts?

Fun small talk questions

Fun questions are great when things are getting boring. They are also helpful for you both to relax and make the conversation more entertaining.

The questions below will inspire you to add some fun to your small talk:

1. What’s the absolute worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?
&nbsp
2. What’s an indispensable component for a party to be a party?
&nbsp
3. What’s the weirdest thing did you ever see happen at a party?

4. What’s the highest number of times you hit the snooze button while trying to wake up?
&nbsp
5. Do you ever feel like you’re in a movie?
&nbsp
6. If you could turn into an animal for a week – provided that you’d survive – which one would you pick?

7. What’s the most disgusting food ever?
&nbsp
8. What’s the first thing you’d do after winning the lottery?
&nbsp
9. What would you call your autobiography?

10. If you had the power to create one thing perfectly as you imagined it, what would it be?
&nbsp
11. If you were a band leader – what kind of music do you play and what’s your band called?
&nbsp
12. An all-out war between cats and dogs: who wins and why?

13. What’s the silliest thing you’d do if you had unlimited money and resources?
&nbsp
14. If you had to have only one ice cream flavor forever, which one would you choose?
&nbsp
15. How’d you feel if you couldn’t use your smartphone for a year?

16. How many five-year-olds could you fight at the same time?
&nbsp
17. If you owned a bar, what would you call it?
&nbsp
18. If you could only celebrate one holiday, which one would it be?

You also might like this list of fun questions for any situation.

Party questions

Parties are places where people are naturally open to meeting new people and making some random small talk. They are also places where you might find yourself talking to complete strangers – with no reference point to start with. So a good strategy for small talk at parties is to ask questions about the party itself or parties in general.

Here are some party-related related questions to help you keep the conversation light and alive:

1. How do you know the people here?
&nbsp
2. How are you liking the party so far?
&nbsp
3. Hey, what’s your name?

4. Do you want a drink?
&nbsp
5. What’s that you’re drinking?
&nbsp
6. What’s the drink you liked the most so far?

7. Which of these appetizers did you like the most?
&nbsp
8. What’s your favorite thing here?
&nbsp
9. Which of these appetizers would you suggest I try?

10. Which song would you ask them to play tonight?
&nbsp
11. How many people do you think are here?
&nbsp
12. Who do you know here?

13. How do you guys know each other?
&nbsp
14. What do you think about the music?
&nbsp
15. How long do those parties usually last?

16. How often do you come here?
&nbsp
17. How often do these parties happen?
&nbsp
18. Where are your friends?

19. What do you like the most about this place?
&nbsp
20. Wanna go out for some fresh air?

Here is a list with party questions divided by different types of parties.

Small talk questions for an acquaintance

You can use small talk to get to know acquaintances better and maybe consider turning them into real friends. An interesting strategy is to ask about something you already know about them or what you talked about the last time you saw each other. This expresses that you really paid attention to them and might spark a stronger connection.

Here you have some lightweight small-talk questions that might help you to know more about your acquaintance.

1. What’s your favorite holiday?
&nbsp
2. How did you get your current job position?
&nbsp
3. What kind of eyeglasses would be a good look for me?

4. What’s your favorite time of the day/year?
&nbsp
5. What kind of vacation places do you like the most?
&nbsp
6. What is your favorite thing about the holidays?

7. How’s the house renovation coming along?
&nbsp
8. How was the vacation? Where’d you go?
&nbsp
9. How do you like your new neighborhood?

10. Who are your favorite neighbors?
&nbsp
11. When was the last time you had a conversation with a neighbor?
&nbsp
12. What is your favorite for winning the Oscars/Grammy?

13. What’s your favorite beverage?
&nbsp
14. How are the kids?
&nbsp
15. What do you like to watch on Youtube?

16. Remember how I mentioned [something]? Well, guess what happened?
&nbsp
17. Last time you mentioned that [something]. How did it go?
&nbsp
18. What’s your favorite trip ever?

19. How it went at that party you were planning last time we met?

You might also like to see more questions to get to know a new friend.

Small talk questions to ask a girl or a guy

Making small talk to someone you are interested in may be harder than the usual small talk. But if you are brave enough to make some slightly flirty questions, the prize can be some positive signals from the other side.

These questions can help you get hints as to whether or not you should go ahead:

1. What kind of party do you like the most?
&nbsp
2. How do you balance work and personal life?
&nbsp
3. Have you ever stolen someone’s heart by accident?

4. Do you like dancing?
&nbsp
5. What is the habit you’d like to get rid of?
&nbsp
6. What do think about starting a family?

7. What’s the hardest thing you’d do for someone you love?
&nbsp
8. What do you think is the most difficult thing about couples managing their individual careers?
&nbsp
9. What would your perfect date look like?

10. What kind of games people play with each other do you find the most annoying?
&nbsp
11. What’s your favorite thing to cook?
&nbsp
12. What do you think about fashion trends?

13. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
&nbsp
14. What is your “guilty pleasure” song?
&nbsp
15. What do you like to watch on TV?
&nbsp
16. If you were into collecting, what kind of things would you collect?

17. Do you have any siblings?
&nbsp
18. What kind of profiles do you follow on social media?
&nbsp
19. Which foreign country would you like to live in?

20. Do you need to see your friends often?
&nbsp
21. What do you think about long-distance relationships?
&nbsp
22. What do you think of people who travel halfway across the world for someone they love?

23. What do you think you absolutely need to have a fulfilling life?
&nbsp
24. How much time would you want to spend with your ideal partner?
&nbsp
25. What’s your favorite drink at parties?

26. What’s the best way to deal with a breakup?
&nbsp
27. Ever had a crush on someone online?
&nbsp
28. What’s your favorite way to relax?

You might be interested in these lists with more questions to ask a girl or questions to ask a guy.

Good small talk conversation topics

1. Your surroundings

This can mean your immediate surroundings, such as the particular street you’re walking on, a restaurant you’re sitting at or a concert venue you’ve heard about that is just around the corner. You can also think on a bigger scale than that and talk about the districts or the city as a whole. Simply looking around will give you many ideas on what to talk about. It can be the atmosphere of the place, stories you’ve heard about it or have experienced yourself, the decor, or any other little detail that catches your attention.

You could ask something simple, for example: “Do you prefer when restaurants have tablecloths or bare tables?”, or something a little more elaborate like “Do you know any good bars with live music in this city?”

2. 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?”

3. 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?”

4. 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.

5. Work

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?”

6. 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?”

7. News

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 doesn’t necessarily have to be huge and world-defining – it can even be something simple, like a good new local restaurant opening.

8. Travel

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.

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

Go to Comments

For clever tips & secrets on social interaction, follow us on Instagram 👇

instagram post

Leave a Comment