How to Answer the Questions You Always Get Asked When Meeting Someone

In the dating world, there is a set of questions that every person gets asked by their date. This list includes: “What do you think about this?” and “Who was your favorite president?” If you don’t know how to answer these common questions, it can be hard to go out on dates without putting off your potential partner for good.

When meeting someone new, it is important to know what questions you should be asking. This art of manliness article discusses some of the most common questions that people are asked when meeting someone new. Read more in detail here: art of manliness first impression.

Almost every time you meet someone new, you will almost certainly be asked three questions throughout your conversation:

  • What’s your name, by the way?
  • So, what exactly do you do?
  • What country are you from?

Because these three questions are so common and you answer them so often, it’s easy to get into the habit of responding them the same way over and over again, without thinking. You’re probably bored with your own responses, so you don’t put in the effort to present them in an engaging manner. “My name is Joe, and I’d want to introduce myself. I work in public relations for a downtown energy firm, and I’m originally from the Midwest but just relocated here.” Zzzzz…

You could even feel like Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day, repeating the same routine over and again. It might possibly be one of the reasons why so many of us dislike meeting new people.

However, it’s worth stepping up your game here; how you react to these three popular introduction questions may have a big influence on your initial impression, how memorable you are to new acquaintances, and whether or not your connection ever goes beyond first base.

In this essay, I’ll go through six particular tactics for addressing these seemingly inexorable questions in unique and memorable ways. I’ll also give tips on how to stand out from the crowd from specialists in communications, linguistics, and networking.

I’ll also offer detailed examples of how you might put these suggestions into practice. Let’s look at what those tactics are first:

6 Ways to Make Your Answers Stick in Your Mind

Here’s a brief rundown on how to make your answers to these three popular questions stick in your mind:

  • Please restate your response. Repeating something makes it more remember, according to science and common experience. So, without being blatant about it, find subtle methods to repeat your responses.
  • Pose a query. When a person’s brain is engaged, such as when they are asked a question by someone they have just met, they are more likely to acquire and remember new knowledge.
  • Tell a tale. A good narrative draws us all in. To stand out, use relevant, concise tales or short stories. Just don’t be that guy who starts telling you about their whole life in the first two minutes of a conversation.
  • Keep it simple and don’t try to be too clever. Always opt for clarity. When meeting someone for the first time, it’s best not to attempt to be particularly smart with your responses to these questions.
  • Make a personal connection. Making a link between your responses to the three questions and something more memorable to the person you’re speaking with is a terrific strategy to stand out. To provide an example, if you share a name with someone in their family, a new acquaintance is more likely to remember your name. Look for methods to take use of these relationships.
  • Get in touch with your inner black sheep. Look for methods to identify oneself that emphasize your distinct qualities. If you want to be remembered, be unique. Vanilla is forgettable and uninteresting; Cherry Garcia, with cherries and chocolate pieces, is unforgettable. Mmmmm… Cherry Garcia is a fruit that is grown in the United States What was I doing?

Let’s look at how these tactics relate to the three most prevalent questions:


How to Give a Memorable Answer to “What’s Your Name?”

It’s OK to say your name again if you don’t want to be obvious about it.

When you’re giving someone your name for the first time, one of the easiest methods to help them remember it is to gently repeat it. One of the reasons individuals have problems remembering names is because repeating it only once prevents the name from moving from the short-term memory, also known as “working memory,” to the long-term memory.

If you want to make your name memorable by repeating it but don’t want to be too blatant about it, use the following methods:

  • In conversation, use your name. “So my wife says to me, ‘John, you put the diaper on backwards again…’” you may say.
  • Address yourself by your given name. “I was so irritated, but I told myself, John, you’re going to learn how to speak Jive if it kills you,” she recalled.
  • Explain your name’s origins, particularly if it’s uncommon. If your name is uncommon or difficult to pronounce, try discussing the history or origin of your name quickly so that you can repeat it. “Corcoran derives from the Latin Corcorinitus, which means ‘tries too hard to be hilarious,’” I may reply.

Tell a Tale

Telling a narrative about how you obtained your name is another method to make your name memorable.

My first name, for example, is John, which isn’t very distinctive. However, I was named after my grandpa, a WWII B-17 pilot whom I previously profiled for AoM. You are more likely to remember my name if I meet you and explain my history and give you a little tale about my grandpa.

Pilot John Corcoran in world war 2.

John H. Corcoran Sr., the author’s grandpa, was a WWII B-17 pilot.

Let’s assume your name is Steve, and you discover that your parents named you after actor Steve McQueen. They were amusing because they possessed a sense of humour.

You may give a brief anecdote about it: “Back when I was born, my father was a tremendous admirer of Steve McQueen’s movies.” My mother was very opposed, but they worked out a bargain in which he got to call me Steve and she got to name my sister Anne, after Anne of Green Gables, her favorite novel.”

Make a Personal Connection

Another technique to make your name remember is to associate it with something that is more memorable to the person with whom you are conversing.

If you introduce yourself as “Mitch” and the person you’re speaking with responds, “I have an uncle called Mitch,” you may ask a series of questions about Uncle Mitch to help the person you’ve just met build a strong connection between you and their uncle.

You might also associate your name with anything that the person you’ve just met is familiar with. Listed below are a few examples:


  • My last name is uncommon, and most people have difficulties spelling it. I used to pretend I was “John Corcoran, spelt like the Corcoran Gallery,” an art gallery near the White House, when I lived in Washington, D.C. Some people may have asked whether I was related to the Corcoran Gallery, which would have made me much more noteworthy. (I believe this is also how I met my wife on our first date.) By associating my last name with the Corcoran Gallery — a name that most people in Washington, D.C. are familiar with – I boosted the likelihood that my odd last name would be remembered.
  • A narrative on this method is told by Amanda Marko, a strategic communications specialist. “So, my husband’s name is Nick Marko, and people often remark to him, ‘I guess you were ridiculed a lot as a child about Marco Polo.’ “Yeah, I did…until the kids grew a bit older and discovered what Nick rhymes with,” he always adds.

How to Give a Memorable Answer to “What Do You Do?”

Submit a Question

Asking a question that causes them to think is an excellent way to get someone you just met to remember what you do.

Antonio Centeno, a style guru for the Art of Manliness, utilizes this method to describe what he does for a job, which has developed from bespoke clothing to providing online courses and videos to help men dress better.

“When people ask what I do, I generally ask, ‘You know how most men don’t dress very well?’” Centeno explains. This frequently results in the person he’s speaking with nodding in agreement. “After that, I explain how I fix the issue.” Let’s assume I add that I have a 9-year-old and that I’m taking him to the doctor. Imagine a man wearing a Grateful Dead t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops walks in. Will I entrust my child to this person? Most likely not. Now envision a man in a white lab coat entering the room. Everyone understands how apparel can make a significant impact.”

When you ask a question that forces the person you’re speaking with to think and link what you do to their own life, they’re far more likely to remember you.

Keep it simple and don’t try to be too clever.

Derek Coburn is a man of many hats. He’s a high-net-worth individual’s financial counselor, an entrepreneur, and the author of the excellent book Networking Isn’t Working.

It may be difficult to explain all of these functions. “We get caught up in trying to be smart,” says Coburn, “and it ends up not expressing what we do.” Instead, Coburn suggests opening with questions to keep things basic and relevant to the person you’re speaking with. “I’m in a better position to lead with what’s more relevant to the discussion if I first understand more about the person I’m talking to and what they do.”


When Naveen Dittakavi started his own software consulting business, he made the same error of attempting to be overly creative in articulating what he did. “I didn’t know where I belonged in the mix when I first began consulting, so I made up a term for myself:’software architect.’ But no one understood what it meant.”

Worse, Dittakavi discovered that many people mistook him for a worker rather than a company owner. Dittakavi eventually came up with a phrase to describe what he does. “I’m Naveen, and I operate a web development firm,” he began to say, and he discovered that individuals he encountered were significantly more likely to understand him — and to remember him.

How to Give a Memorable Answer to “Where Are You From?”

When asked where you are from, you will always provide a relative response. It’s noteworthy to declare you’re from New York City while you’re standing in Miami. You must be more explicit if you are in Manhattan.

However, the greatest method is to come up with a unique manner of conveying where you’re from. To put it another way, to define your location in such a way that you seem to be a black sheep among a sea of white sheep.

Antonio Centeno does a fantastic job with this. Centeno looks to be rather well-cut on the surface. He’s a former Marine with short hair and no noticeable tattoos or facial hair. He may even be said to be able to blend in with a throng.

It’s all in how you spin it, however.

Antonio is a straight male fashion guru who operates his business out of his hometown of Wittenberg, Wisconsin. There are 1,113 inhabitants in the town. That’s a lot more memorable now.

When Antonio tells people where he is from, he emphasizes the population of his community since “my town is quite tiny for most people.” People assume that if I worked for a fashion brand, I would reside in New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago.”

He might just state that he is from Wisconsin. However, emphasizing his modest hometown makes him significantly more memorable.

People are more likely to remember Antonio because of his distinctiveness, and they are more inclined to tell their brother, spouse, or father about his website, Real Men Real Style. “Many times, a few weeks after we’ve met, I’ll receive an email from someone stating you were mentioned in a discussion,” Centeno adds.

Go out and make a lasting impression.

These tactics should have given you some ideas on how to make yourself more remembered the next time you meet someone new and need to answer the world’s most popular introductory questions.

Remember, if none of these tactics work and people still don’t remember you, you can always relocate to a tiny town in rural Wisconsin, which is quite memorable. Antonio, I’m sure, would appreciate the companionship.

When you meet someone new, how do you express yourself in a memorable way? Please share it in the comments section below.


John Corcoran is an attorney and a former Clinton White House writer, but he is not the heir to the Corcoran Art Gallery wealth (don’t tell his wife). For Art of Manliness and his own blog, Smart Business Revolution, he writes on business networking and social skills. He offers a free 52-page book called How to Increase Your Income Today by Building Relationships with Influencers, Even if You Hate Networking, which you can download.



The “how to make small talk with strangers” is a question that everyone has been asked at least once. This article will teach you how to answer the questions you always get asked when meeting someone new.

Related Tags

  • art of manliness body language
  • art of manliness talking to strangers
  • art of manliness man cave
  • art of manliness friendship
  • art of manliness style