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Posted on February 7, 2018

How to Navigate Small Talk: Questions, Questions, Questions

Between my office, clients, and friends’ holiday parties, I’m partied out. ‘twas the season of small talk. “Can you believe this weather?” “What are your travel plans?” “Did you try the artichoke dip?” Yep, those questions can work…but if you’re interested in moving beyond lamenting the cold weather (or the impending doom of climate change), we’ve rounded up some questions that can help you navigate small talk with (more) ease. And you might even make a new great contact or two! Happy chatting.

If you’re looking to keep it focused on work:

1. How did you become a [job title]?

2. Tell me about what you do at [company name]?

3. What surprised you the most about your current job?

4. What’s your day-to-day to like?

5. What are your biggest priorities for the coming month, six months, year, etc.?

6. What keeps you up at night in terms of challenges or opportunities?

7. What were you doing before this current role? What’s the biggest difference between that work and the work you’re currently doing?

If you’re trying to make it a little more personal:

1. How long have you lived in [city name]? What brought you to [city name]?

2. What do you like to do for fun outside of work?

a. Note: Ask follow up questions!

3. Are you reading any good books right now? How about shows? Or podcasts?

4. Are there any apps on your phone that you can’t live without?

What else would you add? Let us know in the comments!

Becky Sennett