Good Questions To Start Interesting Small Talk

Have you ever experienced uncomfortable, awkward conversations where people don’t…

Have you ever experienced uncomfortable, awkward conversations where people don’t know what to talk about?

Well, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there! This is why it’s essential to have good questions for small talk at the ready. And we’ve got some great options for you to choose from as well as tips for you to try.

Making small talk is pretty challenging for many people, especially if you’re more of an introvert. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With some good questions for small talk, you’ll be able to break the ice and make conversations flow more naturally. 

Two girls making small talk with one listening intently to the other.
Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

Tips for Making Small Talk

Let’s face it, starting a conversation with someone you don’t necessarily have a close relationship with is hard. Where are you supposed to start? What should you talk about? Well, here are some tips that can help make things much easier.

Find Some Common Interests

One of the first rules to making small talk is to look for things you have in common. You don’t want to be talking about the weather. Instead, find some things you share, such as where you are from, what you studied in school, or your workplace. Remember to ask about someone else’s interests and genuinely listen to what they have to say.

If you want to make small talk with someone while waiting in line, you might talk about whatever you are waiting for. Or maybe if you work in the same company, you can discuss the latest company news.

Pretend You’re Talking to an Old Friend

It’s easy for shyness to get the better of you when starting a conversation with someone you don’t know. One sure way to help relieve some of that anxiety is by pretending they are an old friend. This will help you feel more at ease and make the conversation flow naturally.

Pay attention to the answers.

Asking questions and listening to their answers should go hand in hand. This is what most people commonly miss during small talk. You need to make the person feel comfortable and that you’re interested in what they have to say. There’s nothing worse than someone who is just trying to pry as much information out of you as they can without even caring.

Be authentic

You want to be as authentic as possible to get a real conversation going. There’s no need to complement everything they say. Instead, listen to what they’re saying, reflect on it, and ask them some intelligent questions about their answers before you respond. Small talk becomes much more manageable and flows more naturally when you’re genuine and discreet.

Good Questions For Small Talk

About Work

These questions will be perfect if you want to start small talk with someone in an elevator at work or during a business meeting.

  • What would you probably be doing now if you weren’t working here?
  • What made you want to be a [job title]?
  • Which department do you work in?
  • What are the favorite aspects of your current job?
  • Where did you work before you came here?
  • What does your boss ask you to do the most?
  • What was your least favorite job?
  • How did you like your first job?
  • What’s the best career advice someone has ever given you? How about the worst?

Food Conversation Starters

Food is a universal topic. Who doesn’t love food, right? This makes it an excellent topic for starting conversations. Try these out the next time you’re out and about and meeting new people.

  • If you could only eat one dish for your entire life, what would it be?
  • What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
  • What’s your comfort food?
  • Is there any food you would not eat against all costs?
  • What can you easily bring in for lunch that isn’t a sandwich?
  • What are the best cheap restaurants around here?
  • Do you know of any good restaurants other people don’t know about?

Fun Questions

Want to get a laugh out of someone? Try these fun questions and start your conversation on a light and positive note. They’re great for any social gatherings that require you to interact with new people.

  • What is the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?
  • What makes a party fun?
  • Who would win if there’s an all-out war between cats and dogs?
  • What was the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen at a party?
  • What would you do first when you won a lottery?
  • How would you title your autobiography?
  • What would you create if you had the power to create anything?
  • What superpower do you wish you had?

Final Thoughts

Small talk can be an uncomfortable, if not excruciating, experience for some people. But with some good questions for small talk, you can quickly strike up an exciting conversation.

Remember to be genuine and pay attention to their answers. This will help you learn more about the person you are talking to and build a more personal connection.

Frequently asked questions

Good Questions To Start Interesting Small Talk

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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