75 Powerful Getting To Know You Questions
Can you remember back when you were a small child, even before you started school? Do you remember all of the questions you asked of the adults around you?
Why does the moon have a face? Why is the grass green? Does ice cream taste the same to you as it does to me?
You were a question-asking machine, full of curiosity and wonder about the people and world around you.
Humans, especially children, are quite unique in their insatiable quest for knowledge and understanding. No other animal spends as much time or energy seeking answers simply for the sake of knowledge.
But somewhere around the time we begin formal education, our questions tend to drop off. We learn that giving the right answers is more important than asking the right questions.
Over the last ten or so years, the internet has given us immediate access to answers, so many of the questions that once set our minds on fire with curiosity are answered at the click of a button. Finding answers has become mundane.
Perhaps our childhood curiosity has been tamed by institutional beliefs and societal expectations. Maybe it's been tempered by the instantaneous access to information online. But there's one vast area of human curiosity that can't be satisfied through research or education alone — our curiosity about the people around us.
Yes, you can find out information about people through social media or a quick Google search. You can read extensive biographies about famous people. But the only way to really get to know someone is by sitting down and talking with them — and not just talking, but asking questions to draw out the individuality and uniqueness of the person.
I have always been curious about people and have been a question-asker since I was a child. It wasn't until I went back to school to become a personal coach that I learned how powerful the right questions can be.
Asking good questions to get to know someone not only allows you to learn more about the other person, but also it allows the other person to explore themselves and articulate a deeper level of self-awareness. The right questions built trust, intimacy, and understanding between two people.
If you'd like to reignite your curiosity about people, here are 75 getting to know you questions to ask:
Questions to Get to Know Someone Deeply
1. What was your upbringing like?
You can learn so much about a person from hearing about their upbringing, their parents and siblings, and how they describe their feelings about childhood. Much of our personality and belief systems are shaped in childhood, and learning about it gives you a window into the person's true self.
2. If you had to describe yourself in five words, what would they be?
This question is hard for some people either because they aren't self-aware, or they express who they want to be rather than who they really are. Most people have heard enough feedback from friends and family to share an accurate reflection of their personality. But listen for deeper, more introspective answers that reveal a self-examined person.
3. What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?
Asking this question is truly a gift for the other person because you're giving them the opportunity to share something meaningful. Often the “why” part of the question gives you the most information about the inner motivations of the answerer.
4. If you weren't working in the job you have now, what would you do?
So many people land in their jobs by accident or from outside pressure. Our jobs may not be an accurate reflection of what we are really meant to do. The answer to this question can reveal a lot about the interests and aptitudes of the person.
5. What's on your bucket list?
This is an enlightening question that reveals the person's hopes and dreams, longing for adventure and travel, and life priorities. Watch how engaged and excited the answerer gets when sharing their list.
6. What is one of your best memories from childhood?
Everyone has a favorite memory that reveals the simplicity, freedom, and joy of being a child. This question often exposes the tender, vulnerable side of a person.
7. If you could change something in the world, what would it be?
This question gives you a window into the person's personal values and sense of justice. You learn what makes them frustrated, offended, or impassioned.
8. What makes you wildly happy?
Often you'll hear about memorable experiences, hobbies, and interactions with people when you ask this question. Most of us feel the happiest when we're doing something we enjoy with the people we love
9. What would you most like to learn and why?
This question reveals the interests and curiosity of the answerer, as well as where they might see gaps in their own abilities or knowledge.
10. What are your top fears?
I love this question because it's really a touchy one. We all have fears, and for some, it's hard to reveal them. But sharing our fears makes us realize we aren't alone with them.
11. What are your top five favorite books of all time?
What we read says a lot about who we are. It also reveals areas of commonality between the question asker and answerer. When you ask this question, try to draw out from the person what made the books so compelling.
12. What music has most influenced you?
Music is the background theme in various stages of our lives and helps express who we are. For example, the music of our adolescence reflected our struggle for identity and voiced our pains and confusion. The type of music that influences a person reveals the story of their own inner world.
3. Which of your parents are you most like and why?
Most of us identify with some elements of both of our parents, but this question allows the answerer to express more about his or her parents and how they relate to them.
14. How would you describe unconditional love?
It's fascinating to learn how different people view love, especially unconditional love. The answer will reveal the emotional needs of the answerer, as well as their views on how love should be expressed.
15. What are your top five personal values?
Personal values are the guiding principles for our lives. They reflect where and how we want to spend our time and energy. It's fascinating to hear someone's values and to see how they are (or aren't) expressing them in their lives.
6. What goals do you have for the next five years?
Many people don't have specific goals for themselves, and this question often invites them to consider what they want to achieve. For those who do have goals, their answers reveal more about their values and motivations.
17. When do you feel the most confidence and why?
The answer to this question tells you where the person feels most self-assured about their abilities and talents. We usually feel the most confident about things we're good at and that we enjoy.
18. What big life changes have you recently experienced?
It's interesting to hear what someone considers a big life change. For one person, it could be the loss of a job or a divorce. For another, it might mean buying a new car or getting a dog. Change is inevitable, and some people respond to it better than others.
20. How did those changes impact you?
This is the bigger part of the change question. Hearing how change has changed the person gives you a glimpse into their state of mind. Some people learn and grow from change while others lose their footing.
21. What do you feel passionate about?
It's one thing to be interested in something or simply enjoy it. It's another to feel passionate about it. Having a passion means you are “called” to some endeavor — you must engage in it against all odds. Not everyone has found their passion, but for those who have, you'll sense their inner fire when they discuss it.
22. If you were an animal, what would you be?
This seems like a silly question, but it's really very revealing. What does it tell you about a person if they answer “a lamb?” What does it say if they answer, “a bull?” We personify animals and they represent certain personality traits — loyalty, pride, stubbornness, agility, etc.
23. What really gets under your skin and makes you mad?
Learning someone's hot buttons tells you more about their personality type, their inner fears and pain, and their sense of right and wrong.
24. What are some of your limiting beliefs?
Everyone has negative beliefs about themselves or the world that hold them back. These beliefs reflect our fears and shed light on the impact of past experiences that wounded us.
25. What is one of your most memorable dreams?
Dreams are fascinating windows into the subconscious mind. Dreams we remember are usually very powerful messages from the subconscious that invite us to examine our fears and worries. Explore this question further by asking the person to interpret the meaning of their memorable dream.
26. If you could travel back in time, what timeframe would you visit and why?
This is a fun question that shows you a bit more about the person's interests and personality.
27. What is the most valuable life lesson you've ever learned?
This is a very telling question as the answer shows where someone might be in their stage of self-awareness and emotional intelligence. It's also interesting to see how the person has applied the lesson to their lives and how it has helped them.
28. How do you handle anger?
How someone deals with anger also reveals much about their emotional maturity and self-control. Some people repress anger, while others have inappropriate outbursts. Watch how the person answers the question and their body language to give you even more information.
29. What do you think happens when we die?
This question reveals much about the religious or spiritual belief system of the answerer. It is interesting to follow up to find out why they believe what they do and how they came to those beliefs. (Be sure you ask this without judgment if you want an honest answer.)
30. What will be your legacy?
With this question, you're asking the person how they want to be remembered after they die. What impact do they want to make on their family, community, or the world?
Get to Know You Questions for Couples
31. Who in your family are you most like and how?
This is a great question to learn more about your partner or new romantic interest as it reveals the qualities your partner perceives in him or herself.
32. What are your goals for us as a couple?
This is a good question if you are in a committed relationship, and you want to know how your partner would like to nurture and develop the relationship.
It allows you to see if you are on the same page with your vision for a future together.
33. What hobbies do you enjoy doing as a couple?
You can learn a lot about how your love interest likes to spend his or her time with this question. Some people enjoy doing many activities with their partner and others prefer to pursue individual hobbies.
Asking this question can help you learn more about your compatibility in this area.
34. When you're surfing the net, what do you like to read or look at?
This question will give you great insight into your partner's interests, passions, and even obsessions.
It's good to follow up with questions about when he or she likes to be on digital devices and how much time your partner spends on them.
35. How do you handle it if your family disagrees with a decision you've made?
This is an important question that will help you learn how much impact your partner's family has on his or her life. Can you partner stand up for him or herself?
Does your partner listen respectfully to family suggestions and then made a well-considered but independent decision?
36. What are the most important qualities you want in a romantic partner?
When you are in the early stages of a relationship, it's important to know what your love interest values and needs from a partner.
It will give you an idea of whether or not your values and priorities are aligned.
37. Do you think it's okay to maintain platonic friendships with the opposite sex?
If you're in a heterosexual relationship, it's valuable to know whether or not your love interest maintains friendships (or would develop friendships) with someone of the opposite sex.
Some people feel this is inviting trouble if you're in a romantic relationship, but other people find it perfectly acceptable. Where do you and your love interest stand on this question?
38. What is your biggest weakness?
This question invites vulnerability, and it will be enlightening to see if your partner answers it authentically or feels uncomfortable being so open.
If he or she is open and reveals something personal, it's important to respond with empathy and acceptance.
39. Who in your life do you most respect and why?
This question gives you great insight into the values and motivations of the person you love.
You will better understand who your partner strives to be and what qualities he or she would most like to have.
40. What is your idea of a perfect vacation?
Hopefully, your partner's vision includes you being by his or her side.
With this question, you'll get a better idea of your travel compatibility.
41. What are your health and fitness goals?
If you value a healthy lifestyle and it's an important part of your life, you'll want to know whether or not your partner shares these values.
42. What do you do when you feel blue or unmotivated?
We all feel down or uninspired at times, and sometimes these feelings can really drag us down and impact our relationships.
It's valuable to know how your partner deals with negative emotions and whether or not he or she has a strategy for coping.
43. Do you want to have children one day?
You and your partner should be on the same page about this big decision. If one of you wants kids and the other doesn't or isn't sure, it could cause a huge rift in your relationship down the road.
If the answer is, “I'm not sure,” then find out what would tip the scales one way or another if possible.
44. If (when) you have children, do you want to raise them with religion?
This is another biggie that could impact your relationship down the road. Your partner may not be religious now, but perhaps he or she feels strongly that a child should grow up with religious training.
Do you feel the same way? It's valuable to find this out early on.
45. How do you think couples should divide household chores?
This division of household chores is one of the biggest areas of conflict with couples. That's why this question is so essential.
It's important to know upfront what you can and can't expect from your partner and if his or her feelings about this match your own.
46. How have you responded in the past when you've gotten angry with your partner?
Conflict in relationships is inevitable, but how you handle conflict can make or break a relationship.
Does your love interest seem to have a healthy and mature way of dealing with anger and managing conflict?
47. Do you have a savings plan and financial goals?
Money and finances are another big area of potential conflict for couples.
If one of you is more of a saver and the other is more of a spender, it's important to see this early in the relationship and reach a workable compromise.
48. Do you think it's important for one parent to stay home full-time with the kids?
This is another critical question that gives insight into your partner's values around childrearing.
Some people feel very strongly that one parent should be home with small children, while others think it's important for both parents to work outside the home.
Are you and your love interest on the same page about this?
49. Are you more of a night owl or a morning person?
How would you feel if you and your partner don't go to bed or get up at the same time?
Or maybe you'd prefer someone with a different schedule who inspires you to change your ways.
50. Would you say you're more of an introvert or an extrovert?
This one question can help you learn so much about your partner and how he or she gets energized.
It will also help you learn how to better relate to your partner once you know his or her natural personality preferences.
52. Do you like to move around a lot or stay in one city?
If you're a homebody but your partner loves to try out new places, then you'll need to find ways to compromise.
It's good for a homebody to stretch a little and try new places and also good for the adventurer to establish firm roots in one community for a while.
53. How important is it to spend holidays with your family?
Establishing traditions as a couple is an important part of bonding. You may decide to establish your own holiday traditions, or you might prefer maintaining your familial traditions that your parents established.
If you and your partner have different opinions about this, it's important to discuss your views and find a compromise that works for both of you.
Funny Getting to Know You Questions
54. If you were a dog, what breed would you be?
55. What's the most embarrassing thing you've ever done in public?
56. What's the weirdest thing you've seen someone else do?
57. If you could shift all of your fat to one part of your body, where would you move it?
58. What's the worst hairstyle you've ever had?
59. If you could eliminate any bodily function, which one would it be?
60. If you could rename your parents based on their personalities, what would their names be?
61. How would you describe the way you dance?
62. If you were a car, which one would you be?
63. If you could magically turn into the opposite sex, what would you look like and what would you name yourself?
64. If you could be invisible, whose conversations would you like to overhear?
65. What bad smell do you hate the most?
66. Would you rather eat the hottest red pepper or have an enema and why?
67. If you had a superpower but could only use it once a month, what would it be?
68. If you had to choose between losing all your teeth or all your hair, which would you choose and why?
69. If you got arrested, what would it most likely be for?
70. What is the creepiest thing you could say to a perfect stranger?
71. What is the best practical joke you've ever played on someone?
72. Do you think you'll still be having sex in your 80's? Why or why not?
73. If you had to mud wrestle with one former U.S. president, who would it be?
74. If you were at a funeral, and the body fell out of the casket, what would you do?
75. What is the funniest thing you've ever observed?
If you ask these questions, ask them in the spirit of real interest and regard for the other person. You don't want them to feel like they are in an inquisition or that you're passing judgment on them or their answers.
Recognize that all people are different and have unique and varied perceptions of themselves and the world around them.
That's what makes people so fascinating. Enjoy the process of celebrating and acknowledging these differences as you learn more about the person you're questioning.