As with any first date, the object of a speed date is to determine if the person sitting across from you is someone you'd like to know better. The difference is that you have just seven minutes to make that decision (and to make a good impression on your date), so start with the questions that matter most to you. We've included a few basics here, but you and the guests at your event might be better advised to skip the small talk and go right to the important stuff, like "What's your favorite breakfast cereal to eat for dinner?"
- What are your favorite hobbies/interests?
- Do you have any pets? Siblings? Roommates?
- What do you like to do in your spare time?
For a Little More Insight
- Are you an indoor person or an outdoor person? (Or a city person or a country person?)
- What would your dream vacation be?
- What's your favorite travel destination?
- What would your dream job be?
- What did you do last weekend?
- Are you a night owl or an early riser?
- What was the last book you read?
- What's your favorite Web site to waste time on?
- If they made a movie about your life, would it be a drama or a comedy?
- Who was your favorite superhero when you were little?
- Who is your favorite comedian?
- What is your favorite guilty-pleasure food (or music, or movie, or TV show)?
- What's the perfect midnight snack?
- Star Wars or Star Trek? The original Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, or the Johnny Depp remake? Sudoku or Words with Friends? Pirates or ninjas (and why)? Should brownies be made with nuts or without?
Questions to Avoid
- Anything too personal, including their address
- Anything too clichéd, especially, "So, what do you do?" If the question is allowed, everyone else will have already asked it, and some people find it rude, as though you're more interested in their status than in who they are as a person.
- Questions about salary or economic background
- Questions about past relationships
Of course, the most insightful questions will often be the ones your guests come up with on their own, so encourage them to be creative and ask questions that will help them get to the root of what's most important to them.
For more ideas about hosting a speed dating event, check out the resources on the next page.