When first meeting someone it is wise not to ask very personal questions but to be very general in the questions which you ask to determine whether he or she may make a good friend or even a potential mate. It is important to find out quickly whether you have some mutual interests upon which you can build a further relationship.
What kind of work do you do?
Are you married?
Do you have children?
Do you have any hobbies?
What do you do in your spare time?
Where do you live?
If you do find out that you have some things in common then you can continue to ask more detailed questions.
How long have you worked at your current job?
Are you happy with your job?
Do you intend to move up the ladder or will you be switching companies?
Where do you think you’ll be ten years from today?
What will you be doing in your retirement?
What do you like the most?
What do you hate the most?
What do you get angry about the most?
What do you do for entertainment?
Do you follow any sports?
If you could live your life over what would you change?
What characteristic do you most admire in others?
Once you have asked these questions and any others which popped up during the conversation you can further ask more intimate questions about family and friends and specifically what the spouse or friends do for a living. After asking the 18 or more questions you will be in a pretty good position to know if you have enough mutual interests to pursue the relationship or to merely categorize it as a casual acquaintance or relationship.