More interesting dinner conversations

When seated at a table with people you don't know, ask "what are you interested in?" or "what have you been thinking about lately?" instead of "what do you do?".

(Surprisingly often you get a look of utter confusion, followed by fifteen seconds of hemming and hawing, and then a version of "man, i really need to take some time off".)

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Another one I use early on when getting to know someone is, "what did you dream of becoming when you were young?" I've found that interesting people today had interesting dreams during childhood, and vice versa.
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