The purpose of get-to-know-you questions is pretty clear: to help the enquirer gain useful information about the respondent. But more than that, these questions have become a fun way to have conversations and get along with people, especially in cases that are bound to be awkward for one reason or the other. In a broad sense, everyday questions like “how are you doing” and “how was your day” are get-to-know-you questions. The only difference is that the ones covered in this piece were deliberately coined to be interesting and compel robust answers rather than one-word responses like “fine” or “great”.
If anything is certain about humans, it’s the fact that we are wired differently with complex brains that enable a vast and differing development of our culture and identity across various extractions. In essence, as much as we are all Homo Sapiens, we are also the most abundant species of primates spread across the globe and inherently not the same. There are about 7.9 billion people in the world and we are all shaped by several factors that range from genes to environmental influence which define our behavior among other things. What this means is that people would naturally disagree and not get along with one another.
Understanding what makes us different is the first step towards having a good relationship with the people around us and the core essence of get-to-know-you questions is rooted in this. The following are some of such questions to ask people in varying scenarios.
Hard Get-to-Know-You Questions for Couples
Even for the most critical mind, having a crush on someone or being in love can cause a seriously misguided judgment of character. Because of this, relationship experts often advise people to get to know who they admire before making serious commitments to the person. To a large extent, you can only get to know someone as much as they are willing to let you know them. But through clever means like get-to-know-you questions, one might just uncover what was meant to perpetually remain a secret.
1. What do you expect from a relationship?
Although it is not something we readily have an answer to, we all have expectations for our romantic relationships. It is the failure of meeting these expectations that often leads to disappointments and dissatisfaction which in turn brings about the end of most relationships. Thus, this is one of the must-ask get-to-know-you questions for couples, especially those seeking to make a lifetime commitment.
2. What do you think is the most persistent issue in our relationship?
Relationships have failed for reasons the couple didn’t see coming. At the root of this is ineffective communication or a deliberate attitude to not understand each other. Asking this question is a way of assessing the relationship and ensuring that you are on the same page with your partner.
3. Would you want to have kids in the future?
One of the most peculiar get-to-know-you questions, this is a must-ask question for couples who are planning to get married. Not asking it has caused avoidable issues for otherwise perfect couples. People are different and some don’t want kids for several reasons. You shouldn’t assume your boyfriend/girlfriend would want to become a parent and learning why they don’t want to will definitely tell you more about who they are.
4. Who was your first crush and why did you admire him/her?
This is a fun way of learning how the heart of your lover works. Of course, s/he is most likely not who they were when they experienced crushing on someone for the first time. Regardless, their response to this would offer some insights into what they find attractive and how it has evolved over time.
5. What are the things that make you feel secure in a relationship?
It is not hard to think of the various ways insecurities could ruin romantic relationships. Feeling insecure in a relationship often manifests as a lack of confidence in what one has to offer in the relationship. It is crucial for couples to discuss this as it can help them understand how to help each other towards feeling confident about being in the relationship.
6. How do you know you should date someone?
Hardly would anyone disagree that it is important to know what their romantic partner fancy about them. Knowing that someone loves you is beautiful but knowing why they do is rewarding, especially in terms of reciprocating their feelings. When you understand why people feel the way they feel, it is hard to think of any problem you can’t sort out with them.
7. What do you remember about your first sexual experience?
First sexual encounters, particularly for those who were abused, can have an enduring impact on the way they respond to sexual advances, even from someone they love. Physical intimacy is greatly admired in romantic relationships and understanding your partner’s perception of it might require tracing it all back to their first sexual experience.
8. What secret about you is unknown to anyone?
Get-to-know-you questions are meant to facilitate understanding between two people and this question embodies that. It is a peculiar question for couples because of the opportunity it presents for them to feel closer to each other. It is almost natural to feel close to someone with whom you willingly shared your secret.
9. How do you know you are loved?
Just as people fall in love for varying reasons, they get to know they are loved through various means. For some, it’s through physical intimacy, and for others, words of affirmation do the trick. Whatever the case may be, it is necessary for a couple to understand each other’s love language, it goes a long way in informing how they ought to express their affection.
10. Who comes to your mind when you think of heartbreak?
Nothing leaves one with a feeling of betrayal like suffering a heartbreak from a romantic partner. While at times it is unavoidable, heartbreaks are bearable when a couple acknowledges that it is something that might happen to them. With that awareness and this question, one can gain insight on how to handle it when it happens.
11. What would you do to gain someone’s trust?
No one needs to be told that trust is the foundation upon which lovers build enduring relationships. Without trust, it is practically difficult to love someone. While trust is earned through actions that reinforce positivity, having a robust idea of whom your partner would regard a trustworthy person would definitely get your head wrapped around how their mind works.
12. What are the things that turn you on in a partner?
Get-to-know-you questions like these are handy for romantic partners who have decided to take positive measures towards attaining a rewarding and deeper level of physical intimacy. If things are getting cold between you and your lover, this is a question you might want to ask. There is a big chance you would find what would reignite the passion through it.
13. What do you think would be the difference between you as a boyfriend/girlfriend and you as a husband/wife?
People often make a lifetime commitment to their romantic partner, assuming things would change or remain the way they are. The many failed marriages have shown that there are no guarantees to these. At best, what one can do is to know what is expected of them and express what they expect as well before getting married.
14. What do you not like doing that you do to make me happy?
Get-to-know-you questions like this one are meant to accomplish the same purpose as question No. 13: ascertain what to expect from a partner in the long run. Changes are constant and it is unlikely that someone would continue doing what they do now to make you happy in ten years’ time, especially if they never liked or enjoyed doing it.
15. To be loved or to be respected, which is more important to you?
A lot can be learned about people through an assessment of what they think of themselves, how they want to be treated, and how they want to be seen. All of these are encapsulated in this question and for lovers, it exposes vital information about their partners. For instance, someone who chooses being respected over being loved is most likely to be career-driven than family-oriented.
16. How would you define a cheat in a relationship?
Due to various factors that range from cultural settings to religious beliefs and value systems, we see things from different perspectives and it extends to what we might regard as infidelity in a relationship. This is thus one of the most important get-to-know-you questions for couples and the reason for that is pretty obvious.
17. What circumstances would justify cheating on someone?
A good follow-up to the preceding question, the essence of this question is also not far-fetched. Whatever your partner says, you can gain useful information from it pertaining to how s/he thinks and of course, the scenarios that may warrant him/her to cheat on you. Although it can be an uncomfortable question to ask, what you get to learn might be surprisingly very meaningful.
18. What was your biggest fantasy about a partner before we started dating?
As much as we might want to dismiss them as wild and wishful thinking, our fantasies are built upon things we desire, or at least to some extent. As such, they can expose a lot about who we are, especially aspects of our lives we are unwilling to embrace or question.
19. What is important to you about sex?
Frustrations from sex-related issues have pulled a lot of couples apart, even though they were very committed to spending the rest of their lives together apart. For any couple that wants to make a lifetime commitment, it is important to raise and discuss various issues about sex. You don’t want to find out after marriage that your partner wants more when you are already thinking it’s too much and getting out of hand.
20. Are there things that could make you a better lover and partner?
While people can excitedly talk about what they perceive as their good qualities, hardly would anyone easily own up to their flaws. Your partner might not be sincere with his/her answer to this but the way they react to it can tell you a thing or two about how real they have been with you.
Interesting Get-to-Know-You Questions to Ask New People You Just Met
Talking to someone you just met can be annoyingly frustrating and tasking, especially if you are socially awkward. Because of this, psychologists have posited several tricks to help people deal with this, and get-to-know-you questions is a favorite as it focuses on what’s important at that stage – getting to know each other better.
21. You seem to be introverted, are you?
Among other get-to-know-you questions for someone you just met, this seeks to establish the nature of the person you are dealing with. It has long been established that we have different personality traits which determine the things we like and influence our behaviors. These personalities are broadly grouped under introverts and extroverts.
22. What is your favorite hobby and what do you enjoy about it?
The things we enjoy doing when we are not working say a lot about who we are and what is important to us. This is a fun question to ask someone you just met as it would create some measure of a bond between you and the person to explore each other’s personality.
23. Would you rather read a book or watch a movie?
People who would rather read a book than watch a movie are often regarded as individuals who seek deeper meanings to life. This is not necessarily always the case but this question is a good way to connect with someone you just met.
24. What food would you eat for the rest of your life?
This is the easiest way to win the heart of a foodie you are meeting for the first time. Just listen attentively to them and you’d feel like you’ve known them for ages when they are done talking.
25. Who is your favorite celebrity and why?
This is one of the get-to-know-you questions to rely on when you want to save the conversation from getting awkward. It is always effective in sustaining casual conversations that divulge meaningful details about someone you just met.
26. What would calm you down when you are anxious or angry?
We have different temperaments and react to issues and situations differently. Those who understand these things about us are poised to have a better relationship with us as they are better informed on how to deal with us in several scenarios.
27. What is your best time of the year and why?
For someone you have only know for a while, this is one of the fine get-to-know-you questions to ask. It presents the avenue to explore other facts about why they like the things they like.
28. Do horror movies scare you?
Psychologists have offered several reasons why people seek to be scared for entertainment. Regardless, the essence of this question isn’t to psychoanalyze the person, but to just know them, the things they are into, and keep the conversation going.
29. What is your favorite memory from childhood?
Getting someone to talk about the favorite moments of their childhood is one of the easiest ways to connect with them. Through this question, you can get to learn a lot of other things like where the person was born, where they were raised, the schools they attended, and what have you. It naturally becomes easier to talk to them as there would suddenly be many things to talk about.
30. How would you spend your last $20?
Your relationship with money says a lot about you and the same thing applies to practically every other person. No, you are not trying to find if they are financially responsible through this, it’s just a question that picks on their brain to show you how their mind works.
31. What kind of songs do you like and who is your favorite artist?
When you realize that someone likes the same song you like, you instantly feel a connection towards them. As such, this has become one of the most effective get-to-know-you questions that people use whenever they meet someone new.
32. If you could choose what era to live in, when would it be?
On any day, this is an interesting question to ask anyone. Through it, you can know how learned they are, how they think, the things they value, the extent to which they live in their head, and much more.
33. Would you rather be famous or wealthy?
This is also a question that exposes what’s important to someone if they provide a sincere response to it. You should follow up with related questions like “how wealthy would you like to be” and see what you learn.
34. What do you think should be invented?
An intriguing question to ask, people who live in their heads would be particularly fascinated by this and might end up sharing things they have never discussed with anyone. More so, they would regard you as someone interesting to know.
35. What is the best gift you have ever been given?
An effective way to get people to talk about themselves, this question unfailingly provides meaningful insights into one’s value system, something that says a lot about who they are and the things that are important to them.
36. If you could change anything right now, what would it be?
You should ask this if you want to know whether someone is public-spirited or not. Someone who is socially concerned would provide an answer that seems to have been thought of before you asked the question.
37. Would you give up your life for the world to be perfect?
This is also a way of knowing someone who is concerned about promoting the welfare of humanity. But it depends on how sincere the person is with his/her answer. Regardless, you might just learn something insightful about the person.
38. What is the funniest joke you’ve ever heard?
Sense of humor isn’t the same in everyone and it’s quite easy to know who we can get along with through the things we find funny. Be careful with this question though as things might quickly get awkward if s/he tells the joke and you didn’t laugh or you laughed insincerely.
39. Cats or dogs, which do you prefer and why?
Some people have upheld that being a “cat person” or a “dog person” defines your personality but we can’t claim that as the purpose of this question: you simply just want to know if they have pets. And yes, it is part of getting to know them.
40. If you can make any animal go extinct, what animal would you choose?
Someone who is environmentally conscious would never embrace the ability to make any animal go extinct. This is so because they understand what its implications are to the ecosystem. This is a question to ask if you want to know how concerned someone is about their environment and things of that sort.
Good Get-to-Know-You Questions for Colleagues at Work
Even though people strive to keep their relationship with people at work professional, it often gets personal. This is so because our coworkers are among the people we spend most of our time with, year-in, year out. You can make things difficult for yourself in an office space if you continue to avoid having any form of relationship with your colleagues. It is very rewarding to build rapport with your coworkers, especially in terms of job satisfaction. You might find the following get-to-know-you questions useful for building ideal relationships at the workplace.
41. How do you deal with stress at work?
This is one of the get-to-know-you questions that would help you nurture trust and facilitate open communication between you and those who work directly under you. It is also a way of showing members of the team you are leading that you are interested in their progress and well-being.
42. What position did you hold before this?
Asking this question also suggested that you are really interested in knowing your coworker and it can pave the way for better working relationships and productivity whenever you find yourself in the same team with the person.
43. How would you spend your sabbatical?
The ultimate purpose of this question is to build positive relationships with your colleagues at work. It can go a long way in facilitating a better connection between you and the coworker, ensure you actively listen to his/her answer; you will find it useful in the future.
44. What inspired your quest to work in this field?
Asking thoughtful open-ended questions is a good way to enable an engaging conversation between you and a colleague at work and this is one of such questions. It is also a great way to introduce a new teammate to the team you oversee.
45. What do you do to ensure productivity?
Get-to-know-you questions are meant to aid a better understanding of the people you work with, to know who they are enough so that you would easily get along with them and work together to meet set goals. This is exactly what this question hopes to accomplish.
46. You don’t ever seem to be bored, how do you do it?
The more you show that you are really interested in people, the more they would be prone to cooperate with you. This is beneficial in terms of coordinating a mutual effort and contribution towards a common goal.
47. Would you rather have a tea or a coffee?
This is one of such questions to utilize when you have to help a new employee feel more comfortable. It is a good way to kick off a conversation about what s/he is expected to contribute to the team and what to be done to support an effective discharge of their duties.
48. How do you spend your weekends?
If you want to get a bit personal with the coworker, you can ask questions like this. However, you should know that you can’t ask things like why they broke up with their partner. Even if you are that close with the person, it’s not a discussion for the workplace.
49. What skill do you think is most important in this profession?
This has been found to be a good icebreaker as it is a great question that lays the foundation for any group to facilitate working together. It also creates an avenue for the workers to acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses.
50. What do you remember about your first job?
This is effective in a group meeting if you want to warm the participants up and set the tone for a creative and productive meeting. There are also several situations where you would find it a meaningful question to ask at work.
51. Was this what you dreamt of doing as a child?
There are many benefits associated with asking get-to-know-you questions in the workplace and this question boils down to understanding why a particular worker is occupying a particular position.
52. What is your most interesting work experience so far?
More than being a good question to ask a colleague you want to connect with, this is indeed a question you can use to have a fun conversation with anyone you are trying to know better.
53. Have you ever been fired?
If you feel uncomfortable asking this, you should try asking this instead: what would you do to get fired? It is a question that can offer meaningful insight into the dissatisfactions one might be facing at work.
54. What do you consider as the biggest accomplishment of your career?
People are always excited to talk about their accomplishments. So for an evasive coworker, this might be a way of tricking them into talking about things they wouldn’t discuss in any other situation.
55. How would you describe a good coworker?
Icebreaker questions have always been a great way to get coworkers to familiarize themselves with each other. What this one does is that it erects a platform for them to trash out the ways they could be more cooperative and productive.
56. What is the best career decision you’ve made?
It has long been established that having a good relationship with your coworkers goes a long way in making your job easier. One of the ways to build this relationship is to show that you are genuinely interested in them, this question accomplishes that.
57. What didn’t you anticipate about your chosen career path?
We have all faced challenges we didn’t anticipate in our career; discussing this with your coworkers, especially those in a team you’re in charge of, can be very useful in terms of reassuring them that their career goals are attainable. This can improve their efficiency in no small manner.
58. What role do you think you’d be terrible at?
Encouraging each member of your team to answer this, beginning with you, can serve as the perfect icebreaker for enhancing a collective dedication towards tackling any difficult task at work.
59. The pay or the experience, what motivates you most about your position?
Don’t expect the person to give a sincere answer, the purpose of this question is to just create the space for you and the coworker to converse and then pursue a relationship from there.
60. What are your plans for retirement?
Asking this suggests you are interested in what the coworker would be up to even when they leave the organization. It is a way of showing you are really interested in their life and without a doubt, a good get-to-know-you question to ask your colleagues at work.
Get-to-Know-You Questions For Students and Teachers
Particularly for students in elementary, middle, and high school, it is important for them to feel a sense of connection to their peers as much as they feel their existence is valued by their teachers for effective learning. To facilitate such relationship-building that would create the right atmosphere for students to work with their peers and cooperate with their teachers for learning purposes, several experts have coined useful get-to-know-you questions for students and the following are some of them.
61. What is your favorite subject and why?
Students are known to have favorite subjects, understanding why this is so can be very useful in incorporating elements that enable effective learning. It is a good get-to-know-you question for students.
62. What is the most interesting thing about school for you?
What this question hopes to accomplish is to find out ways the things students find interesting can be incorporated into their learning process.
63. What do you want to be in the future?
The importance of letting learners know they are valued and their opinions are useful is often stressed because of its far-reaching effect in terms of creating the right atmosphere for the acquisition of knowledge.
64. What would you rather do than be at school?
Knowing the things that pique the interest of a student can be useful in a lot of ways in helping them excel in their academics and that’s the purpose of this question.
65. How did you spend your holiday?
This is a good question to get the students prepared for another session of learning after a break. It’s an effective way of encouraging them to talk about themselves and feel at ease with their classmates.
66. Would you rather understand the language of animals or learn another human language?
Questions like this stimulate the mind of students to think imaginatively. It can serve as a useful tool for nurturing and enhancing their creative abilities.
67. What do you think everyone should stop doing?
You might just be surprised about the extent to which you will get to learn more about your students if you ask them this. It’s a question to ask if you want to know what they dislike.
68. Who is your favorite cartoon character?
Students are known to be in the right frame of mind for learning when it seems fun and questions like these are effective when incorporated into their curriculum from time to time.
69. What hidden talent would you like to have?
Getting into the mind of your learners can be useful in a lot of ways and having them answer this question is a creative way to go about it.
70. What would you do if you become invisible to everyone for a whole day?
For a teacher that wants to make the class a bit lively, this is one of the fine get-to-know-you questions to ask the students.
71. What would be the title of a TV show about your life?
It is crucial for learners to be expressive and this is one of the several questions that can help them cultivate an expressive attitude.
72. If you were the president of a country, what would you do?
An intriguing question to ask anyone on any day, it is particularly appropriate for students as it subtly reminds them that they are expected to be responsible adults.
73. Why do dogs bark?
While this seems to be a simple question, it is one that demands critical thinking. For young learners, it is a way of stirring their minds towards that, albeit playfully.
74. What are the three cool things about you?
Instead of asking learners to talk to the class about themselves, this is a better alternative to set a friendly atmosphere and familiarise students with each other in a classroom.
75. Where do we go when we sleep?
One of the peculiar get-to-know-you questions for students, the purpose of this is to develop their minds for asking themselves more critical questions.
How Quickly Can You Get to Know Someone?
How long it takes to get to know someone isn’t something that is absolute; it is relative and depends on several factors like how real they are with you, the amount of time you spend with them, and the extent to which you are dedicated to knowing them. You can know someone for only a few weeks and it would seem as though you have known them for years and you can know another person for years only for them to do something that makes you realize you never really knew them and what they are capable of doing.
If you really want to know someone, you have to create the time to spend time with them; there are no two ways about that. You can only get to learn a thing or two about someone when you hang out, talk, and do things with them. Through spending time together, people get to understand each other better and no matter how evasive a person is, the people s/he spends time with can say a few things about them and get it right.
Another factor that determines how long it takes to know someone is how long it takes for them to be comfortable around you enough to be who they truly are. If you are judgy, then it is less likely you will never get to know people for who they are. For whatever reason, if someone fails to embrace his/her true self when around you, you can never truly get to know them. More so, you can only know someone if you pay attention and consciously strive to understand them. It doesn’t matter the years you have known the person, if you are disinterested in the things they do and say, they are at best your acquaintance and not someone you can claim to know.
Based on the foregoing, it is only ideal to uphold that there is no defined time frame for getting to know someone; it can take a month and as much as several years.
How Do You Get People to Know You?
The same criteria that apply to getting to know people can be utilized when you want people to know you. First of all, you have to find a way to spend more time with them. It is only through this that you can sell who you are and create the avenue for them to explore the things that interest them about you.
Nevertheless, it would amount to a waste of time and a misconception of who you are if you spend time with them but were never genuine to yourself. People would only form their opinion of who you are based on the way you are around them. So, if you pretend and do things you don’t really like to get along with them, they will eventually take that to be who you are. It is essentially a disservice to your true identity.
In addition to the above, you should treat them as your friends. People would be attracted to you if you are nice to them and they feel at ease around you. Ultimately, they would get closer to you and that would only create a better chance of knowing you as much as you desire.