12 Better Ways To Respond To Personal Questions At Work

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Ketan

You could ignore your nosy boss or coworkers who keep asking you personal questions at work. 

Surprisingly, they ask about everything from what you’re doing after work to how long your past relationship lasted, and so on.

No matter what you do, you can’t get away from them. 

But, that doesn’t mean you have to answer whatever they want to know about you. 

That’s your personal life. They don’t need to know that.

Here, you need a ‘proper’ way to respond to your coworkers or boss who is asking too many questions.

Depending on who is asking, you could choose your way to handle it, next time.


What To Say When A Nosy Boss Asks Personal Questions At Work?

You just joined a new company and a few days later you found your boss asking too many questions about your personal life and on.

If sharing such information makes you feel insecure, you have the right not to share it. 

When you don’t want to sound disrespectful, try these replies to personal questions from your boss.

When nosy boss asks too many personal questions

1. “I think it’s a personal question. So, I’m not comfortable answering that.”

In other words, you’re just saying that you don’t think it’s an appropriate question at work. 

This might make your boss apologize to you when he’s professional and knows the limits.

2. “Oh, that’s a bit personal. We need to keep things professional here.”

Indeed, you have a right to not answer a personal question whether it’s from your boss or employer.

You remind them that your connection is supposed to be professional, not personal. 

3. “Don’t take it personally, but I want to keep more things private here.”

You’re being polite with your response this way. 

Here, you don’t want your boss to feel ashamed for asking personal questions.

But you let him know that you don’t want to talk about such things at your new job.

READ NEXT: Replies To Coworker Says She Misses You

4. “Can we keep things around the work only? That would be great?”

The earlier you realize what to share and what not to at the workplace, the better for you. 

Sometimes you have to act that way or sometimes you just have to say it. 

Make it a clear and valid response to why you don’t want to share personal info. 

5. “I’ve some important work to do. So, we will probably discuss it sometime later.”

You want to inform your boss that you want to keep your focus on work only. 

The way you say it is that your boss will know that he shouldn’t ask such personal things again.

Let’s hope he won’t ask again.

6. “This is not the right time to talk about this. Maybe ‘that time’ will never come either.”

If personal questions make you feel weird to answer, they should be avoided forever.

Be clear with your response even if this is from your boss, just tell him.

READ NEXT: How To Say ‘I Will Try My Best’?


What To Say When Coworkers Ask Too Personal Questions?

A few coworkers are just unprofessional and have no idea what to discuss at work.

Most of them are nosy and don’t keep their conversation around work, but way too personal. 

If that’s not your style, be frank and turn down such a question as it comes to you, maybe even on your first day at work.

What to say when coworkers ask personal questions

1. “I’m surprised where your mind is at right now?”

If there are other teammates and colleagues around, this response might put that coworker in embarrassment. 

Because they ask personal or inappropriate questions at work, they deserve to feel that way. 

2. “Pay attention to the work, we have a lot of work to complete.”

When you can’t stop colleagues from asking you personal questions, just divert them. 

This approach will not shut that nosy coworker down for long.

But, this one is a temporary solution. 

3. “Trust me you don’t want to hear that. Because I’m a boring person.”

Well, the coworker who asks too many questions wants to find something to discuss later with others. 

But instead of feeding them with even the smallest hints, you could give this dull response. 

Hope they will lose interest in knowing you, too.

READ NEXT: When Coworkers Say “You Look Great!”

4. “But, why are you asking this? What are you going to do with that info?”

Asking questions back when you’re not comfortable with what they ask, is a good move.

You could also try asking the same question, as while they are waiting for your answer. 

It sounds annoying. 

But, for those coworkers who ask too many questions, that’s a perfect reply.

5. “You might feel comfortable asking this. But I do not feel the same way to answer that.”

Be clear and direct regarding how you feel it. 

No point in staying uncomfortable. 

You better say what you feel after getting such a personal question at work. 

6. “I don’t have time to share such things. Nor will I ever. So please don’t ask again.”

You already know this coworker won’t leave you, they will come back. 

Such a nosy coworker is habitual to ask personal questions to other colleagues.

When you want to shut them down, tell them not to ask personal questions for the last time. 

READ NEXT: How To Reply To ‘We Will Get Back To You’?


Why Avoid Such Personal Questions At Work?

Your boss or coworkers who ask too many personal life questions might be friendly by nature.

But, being too personal at work, especially when you just joined this company, is certainly not too easy for anyone.

If you feel uncomfortable or shy to answer that, be clear with your responses. 

At some level, you could be fine if colleagues ask about your salary.

But, if they start asking personal questions that’s not appropriate at all. Avoid such discussion.

Especially when your coworker or boss asks you personal questions at work, just tell them how you feel as they ask so. 

It’s possible that with such information, you make yourself an easy target for them.

Hence, it’s better to keep things personal and act professionally at work from the very first.


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