99+ Best Questions For Small Talk | Start Small Talk Effortlessly

Welcome to my full guide on small talk.

In this guide, you will discover how to initiate small talk and then slowly level up the conversation topic to something more profound.

This way, you will create a real connection with others, not just discussing some superficial topics.

I have prepared a huge list of questions for small talk and categorize them according to topics. So, it will be convenient for you to start a small talk conversation with strangers, your crush, coworker, and friends.

questions for small talk

Why I Hate Small Talks But Still Do It Anyway

I know this guide is all about creating small talk, but I just want to be truly honest with you that small talk sucks big time if you want to build a real connection with the person you are talking to.

This is because small talks are all about things that do not really matter in our life. For example, how good is the weather, how busy is the traffic today, and etc. These topics are so insignificant in life.

Thus, if you want to know someone better, small talk can’t help you much.

Remember, small talk is only suitable for initiating a conversation because it is very light, and it can help you invite a conversation easily with someone you do not know much.

But, once you get to know that person a little and you want to build a deeper connection with him/her, you definitely need to jump out of the small talk and start to have a deeper conversation.

This is why I still use small talk these days. It is to initiate a conversation only. Then, I will consciously shift the topics into something deeper and more meaningful to create a real connection.

You should do the same thing too if your goal is to know that person better. Otherwise, if you just want to avoid the awkward silence, it is acceptable to keep the conversation at the small talk level.

Questions For Small Talk With A Stranger

Here is a list of small talk questions, which you can use to talk to a complete stranger.

The goal is to know their basic information, like names, jobs, where they live, etc.

  1. Hi, I’m John. What’s your name?
  2. Hi, I have seen you around but didn’t get the chance to know you. I’m John.
  3. Are you from around here?
  4. What brings you here?
  5. What do you do?
  6. What do you think of this place?
  7. Do you come here often?
  8. Do you join this kind of event often?
  9. Are you here with friends?
  10. How has your day been so far?

Small Talk Questions To Ask Someone You Just Met

These small talk questions are for someone you have known a little, and you want to continue to learn more about them.

I have categorized them according to different topics, so you can glance through them faster and pick the one that resonates with you the most.

Career or Work

  1. What do you do?
  2. How long have you been in this field?
  3. What gets you started in this career?
  4. Why did you choose this company?
  5. What is the most challenging part of your job?
  6. What do you like the most about your job?
  7. Is this your first job?


  1. Are you from (local name)?
  2. Where are you initially from?
  3. What is your hometown famous for?
  4. Which area are you living in now?
  5. Is there any good restaurant or cafe around your place?
  6. What do you like the most about living here?


  1. Any plan for the upcoming holidays? Are you going to travel anywhere?
  2. How frequently do you travel?
  3. What exciting places have you been to?
  4. What place is on top of your travel list?
  5. Do you prefer an action-packed vacation or a relaxing one?
  6. What are the most beautiful places you have ever visited?


  1. How do you like to spend your weekend?
  2. What is your passion?
  3. What makes you love it so much?
  4. How did you get started?
  5. What are the challenges you face when you get started?
  6. How did you overcome it?
  7. What do you like to do when you are not working?


  1. What is your biggest goal for this year?
  2. Why is that goal essential for you too?
  3. What is the biggest challenge along the way?
  4. What is your strategy to achieve it?


  1. Have you seen any good movies lately?
  2. What is your favorite movie genre?
  3. What is your favorite movie in that genre?
  4. Are you into a horror movie?


  1. What songs are you listening to lately?
  2. Who is your favorite band/singer?
  3. What is your favorite song from that singer?


  1. What books would you recommend to me?
  2. What is your favorite book?
  3. What kind of books do you like to read?
  4. What is your favorite quote?
  5. When was the last time you read a book?


  1. It’s a nice day, don’t you think so?
  2. What climate do you prefer?
  3. Do you like rainy days?
  4. What is your favorite season?


  1. How many kids do you have?
  2. How do you like to spend your time with your family?
  3. What are the funniest things your kids did?
  4. What is the sweetest memory you have with your family?
  5. Where do you wish to travel with your family?
  6. Are you the eldest in your family?
  7. How many siblings do you have?
  8. Who is closest to you among your family members?
  9. Where does your family live?
  10. How strict are your parents?


  1. The way you speak. Are you the eldest in your family?
  2. Would you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?
  3. What is your zodiac sign?
  4. What do people around you think of you?
  5. How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
  6. What do you think are your top 3 strengths?
  7. What are the habits you wish to change?
  8. What kind of person do you wish to become?
  9. What is something that you are obsessed with?

Fun Small Talk Questions For Friends

  1. What would you buy if you win the lottery?
  2. If you can start any business you want, what would you choose?
  3. Do you have a pet? What’s the silliest thing they did?
  4. If you can change one thing in your past, what would you change?
  5. If you can travel into the future, what would you do?
  6. What food are you craving lately?
  7. What’s your favorite way to waste time?
  8. Do you watch any drama lately?
  9. If you can invent anything you want, what would you create?
  10. What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever done?

Small Talk Questions At Party

Feeling Awkward at the party because you do not know what to say?

Worry not. You can pick a seat first and then start a conversation with someone who is sitting beside you. Alternatively, you can initiate small talk with people around you when you are grabbing a drink or food.

  1. Do you like the party so far?
  2. Want a drink?
  3. What’s the best drink here?
  4. How’s the food?
  5. Do you know what song is that?
  6. How do you know the people here?
  7. Have you tried the food?
  8. It’s relaxing, isn’t it?
  9. Have you joined any party games?
  10. The food looks good. Have you tried anything yet?

Small Talk Questions To Ask Your Crush

Not sure how to talk to your crush? These small talk topics can help you initiate a fun conversation with her and learn what’s her opinion on the relationship.

  1. What do you think about long-distance relationships?
  2. What would your perfect date look like?
  3. What is your ideal type?
  4. What is the most essential thing in a relationship?
  5. Do you believe in love at first sight?
  6. When was your first love?
  7. What kind of personality is considered attractive to you?
  8. What kind of girl/guy do you like?
  9. Do you have a crush on someone now?
  10. How much time would you want to spend with your ideal partner each day?

Small Talk Questions For Customers

Some of these questions are a little beyond the small talk level. They can help you to know your customers better and what is their primary concern.

  1. What is your biggest priority now?
  2. What is your most important metric?
  3. How’s the progress so far?
  4. What are you worried about the most?
  5. What’s your secret to success?
  6. What is your philosophy in running a successful business?

Random Small Talk Questions

If you just want to have a casual conversation with your friends, then this section is for you. Just pick one, and you are good to go.

  1. It’s a lovely day, don’t you think so?
  2. Looks like it is going to rain.
  3. Are you into reading? I can use some recommendations.
  4. Any chance you are into gaming or anime?
  5. Have you tried any new restaurants lately?
  6. What do you eat for breakfast usually?
  7. Do you want to go on an adventure?
  8. What would you do if you only have 48 hours to live?
  9. How do you usually celebrate Christmas/birthdays?
  10. What was your first job?
  11. What skill would you love to pick up if given a chance?

What To Avoid For Small Talk

There are some of the topics you should avoid during small talk, especially when you still do not know much about the other person yet.

In some cultures, it is considered rude to ask about one’s financial status. So, it is better to avoid it.

To some people, it is their everything, while for others, they think it is stupid. You never know which side they are at, and if you cannot take an honest opinion, you better do not start talking about it.

Again, it is sensitive, like religion. You do not know if he/she is having the same standpoint as you do. So, it is better to avoid it.

Sexual topics
Guys might think it is funny to talk about it, but most girls probably will not enjoy it because they barely know you yet. And, you never know what their sexual orientation is, so it is best to avoid it.

It’s okay if you give a compliment on their dress, hairstyles, shoes. However, try to avoid talking about other’s body parts.

If someone has an acne problem or overweight, please do not point it out directly or try to give them any advice unless they talk about it first. Try not to make others feel uncomfortable.

Cut down gossip as it is considered rude to talk about others at their back. I ditch people who gossip too much because I know they can gossip about me at my back too.

Offensive jokes
It’s okay to joke around but not the offensive type, which is related to gender, race, sexual orientation if you do not know the other person well enough yet.

Again, in some cultures, it is considered rude to ask for their age. However, in other cultures, like Korean, it is pretty common to ask someone for their age in the first conversation. If you are not sure about it, it is best to avoid it.

Best Small Talk Conversation Topics

1) Passion/ Hobbies
Everyone has their own passion. If you prompt them to talk about it, it will get them excited and share a lot with you. This way, you will be able to learn more about that person without talking much.

  • What is your passion?
  • What is your favorite part about it?
  • What gets you started?

2) Trending News
What’s hot in the News right now or whatever is trending can be a good conversation topic.
You can talk about the viral Youtube videos or the tsunami or earthquake that happened not long ago.

  • Have you seen that video?
  • Do you know that_?

3) Movies/ Music
Most people are into movies or music, especially these days where people can easily access entertainment online. You can ask them to recommend some good movies and music to you.

  • What is your favorite movie genre?
  • Who is your favorite singer?
  • Any good music to recommend to me?

4) Books
If you are into reading, you ask what their favorite book is and why. If the other person is into reading as well, he/she will be sure to share what she likes with you.

  • What is your favorite book?
  • Who is your favorite author?
  • What is your favorite quote?
  • If you can only read 3 books in your life, what would you pick?

5) Travel
Traveling stories are interesting to share because it’s full of excitement and surprise elements.

  • What is the most beautiful place you have been to?
  • What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you while traveling?
  • Where would you choose to go again? Why?

6) Work/ Business
Not everyone loves their job, and some people work just for the money. So, be sure to ask interesting questions about the work instead of just asking what their role is, etc.

  • What is the most exciting part about your job?
  • What is the funniest thing you have encountered while working?
  • What is your vision?

7) Sports
Most people are into some kind of sports, exercise, or workout. So, you can ask them directly if they are into any kind of sports. If it resonates well with you, you can request to join him/her next time.

  • Are you into any indoor or outdoor sports?
  • What makes you love it so much?
  • What is the most challenging part, in your opinion?
  • What motivates you to keep the momentum every week?

Universal Small Talk Conversation Starters

  • Tell me more about you.
  • Working on anything exciting lately?
  • What’s your passion?
  • What was the highlight of your day today?
  • Anything exciting happens this week?
  • What are you going to do this weekend?
  • I’m going to grab a coffee. Do you want one?

How To Expand The Conversation Deeper

There is a reason why talking about weather can’t help you build a deeper connection with someone else. It is because it does not touch one of the most critical elements, called emotions.

If you want to bond with someone, you definitely need to talk about something that triggers emotions.

Topics like goals, secrets, hope, wish, memories, feelings, opinions, fears, life experience are great to talk about because it touches emotions.

If both of you can resonate well with each other, you all will definitely feel more connected after the conversation.

Despite it is harder to talk about the topics that involved emotions, I still think it’s worth giving it a try. After all, the conversation is all about exploration.

Via conversation, you can find out if the other person resonates well with you and do they have the potential to become your good friends.

If they are not, then it’s totally fine to let them go. So, you have more time and resources to find someone who will resonate with you.

If you are an introvert, you are naturally good at having a deep conversation because introverts tend to reflect on their life a lot. Hence, they are good at exploring their inner world.

How To End A Small Talk

  • Thanks for sharing so many things with me. Can I have your card?
  • It’s great to talk to you. Let’s catch up sometimes after your project is over.
  • I need to grab a drink. See you around later.
  • You seem like a fun person. Want to exchange contact info?
  • Excuse me. I need to use the restroom. Enjoy yourself.
  • I want to get some fresh air on the balcony. See you later.
  • I need to make a call. Catch up with you again later.

Bottom Line Of Small Talk

I have provided tons of questions for the small talk above. However, please do not jump around the questions too much.

Instead, you should pay close attention to what they reply to and then expand the conversation accordingly. This way, they will feel heard, and the conversation will become more engaged and natural.