Some people are just natural when it comes to starting a conversation with a complete stranger. It is amazing to see them striking a conversation with anyone without even giving it a second thought, but on the other hand, there are a few 'not-so-blessed' ones who find it quite daunting to decide how and where to start a conversation.
Rather than getting downright nervous and breaking into a sweat every time you are at a loss of words to frame that icebreaker question, it will help to just get started with a random "Hi! I'm XYZ, and you are?" (smile as you approach the person, especially if it's the opposite gender) and then see how the conversation builds up.
Another sure shot question to get someone talking is a random "What is your favorite ____?". It can be a very light and casual 'get to know you' question that can be asked to almost anyone without sounding desperate.
In the meantime, here is a list of some more fun and interesting 'get to know you' questions compiled to help you with some ideas for adding quirkiness and pepping up the standard introductions.
Getting to Know Your Neighbor
Neighbors are the first preference because if you are on good terms with them, then it provides a safe haven where you might just stumble upon a really long-lasting bond or friendship, but if it goes the other way, then maybe for your entire life you'll have to bear with a constant source of irritation, i.e., inconsiderate neighbors.
Questions for Neighbors
- Can I help you with unpacking or settling things around?
- Where are you from? What is your native place?
- What brings you to this neighborhood? Is it a new job that made you shift?
- What are your family traditions? How do you celebrate Christmas?
- What are your hobbies? Do you like reading?
- Are you aware of the language used in this place?
- Are you comfortable with pets around?
- Are you a social person or someone who prefers to be left alone?
- What is the best way to reach you in case of an emergency?
Getting to Know Your Co-worker
These questions can really help workplace relationships, and if added with a little smile and a pleasant greeting once in a while, it can go a long way to create a friendly workplace.
Questions for Co-worker
- What's your opinion on this report? How do you think I should handle this situation?
- What do you think about the latest company policy?
- What kind of academic/work background do you have?
- How do you manage to travel from such a long distance to office?
- What engages you the most? Do you have a hobby?
- "Sash, you like gardening? Don't you?"
- How was your weekend?
- "Did you buy that little black dress which you were eyeing for the last 15 days?"
Getting to Know Your Date
Now, this is a subtopic in which the list of get-to-know-you questions can be practically endless, because you are just so intent to know that person inside out, and it is necessary nowadays to know some basic things about the other person during the first date.
Otherwise, you might find out later that this person is not right for you, and by that time, you might have gone far too deep into your relationship. A random 'what is your favorite ___?' can get anyone thinking and talking. It becomes all the more helpful because asking such a question emits a feeling that 'I'm really interested to know more about you.'
- Where are you from?/Where do you live?
- Where are you working/studying?
- Which school/college did you go to?
- Which is your favorite book/movie/actor/music/cuisine/hang out place/car/sport/cartoon character?
- What are your hobbies? Do you like reading?
- What is your zodiac sign?
- What did you want to become when you were a kid?
- What do you like about yourself?
- What was your childhood like?
- Were you named after any famous person?
- If you were the President for a day, what would you do?
- What special power would you like to have?
- Which one of the five senses could you do without?
- What was the best gift anyone ever gave you?
- Which of your birthday parties do you remember most vividly? Why?
- What is your earliest memory?
- How would you get back at the person you hate the most?
- How do you handle stress?
- If you were another person, would you like being friends with you?
- If you were a color, which one would you be?
Fun Conversation Questions
- What's your idea of a perfect man/woman?
- Which is the one movie you have seen and regretted the most?
- What is your most prized possession?
- What did you hate the most about your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend?
- Do you like your own handwriting?
- What would you choose - love or friendship?
- Would you rather have - money or fame?
- Who would you like to become for a day?
- What is the craziest thing you've ever done?
- What is your greatest fear?
- Do you sing/dance in the bathroom?
- What is the first thing that you would do if you win a lottery?
- Should Obama have won the Nobel Prize?
- If you could bring back one person from the dead, who would it be?
- If you were an animal, which one would you enjoy being the most?
- Which animal do you hate the most?
By now you've become a pro at asking thoughtful questions and, in a way, that doesn't grill your new friend.