Let’s start things off with a two question survey, because everybody loves two question surveys.
Question #1) Do you get nervous about job interviews?
If you answered No, please congratulate yourself, you cool cat, and go ace that interview. If you answered Yes, please move on to the next question.
Question #2) Which of the following would you say is the factor that contributes MOST to your nervousness about job interviews?
A) I’m not sure what to wear
B) I don’t know how to tie a tie
C) I’m not very good at speaking
D) I am a walrus
E) I’m not sure what questions they’re going to ask me
F) I’m not sure if they will like my answers to their questions
If you answered A): Always wear a suit and tie, even if you’re interviewing to be a mechanic. For the record, “business casual” means “suit and tie” if you are older than 18. If you don’t own a suit, then try to get as close as you can by wearing nice pants, a button-down shirt, and a tie. If you are looking to buy a suit but are wondering what kind of suit, what kind of shirt, what kind of tie? then here is your answer — dark gray wool suit, light shirt, solid dark tie. Click here to see exactly what to wear. If you can only afford one suit, it should look like that one.
[Note: I’m sorry, female friends, but I don’t have specific style advice for you on this one; wear whatever you think is the female version of suit and tie and you’ll look great.]
If you answered B): Always go with the Windsor Knot. Click here and perfect this knot at least one day before the interview.
If you answered C): Complete this 2-minute warmup for your vocal cords and pronunciation muscles. Speak it aloud by yourself in your bedroom before you leave for the interview. Why? Because you will literally say words better, you will notice this, noticing this will increase confidence, increased confidence will put you at ease, and being at ease will make you a better speaker…ta-daa!
If you answered D): Stop that. There can only be one.
If you answered E): Keep reading.
If you answered F): Keep reading.
Okay, the problem for both of you E)’s and F)’s comes down to one very simple thing. All the popular websites providing “The Most Common Interview Questions and Best Answers to Them” suffer from one problem: They have way too many questions, and each question has way too many answers. (See horrifying example by clicking here.) This is why you are nervous! The more interview questions you see, the more questions you worry about and the more answers you try to memorize. It’s not uncommon for some of you to memorize five possible “best” answers to the 20 most “common” interview questions to help you “ace” your interview. That’s 100 answers, and it is maniacal.
In short, websites featuring “The Most Common Interview Questions and Best Answers to Them” are too complicated. In your case, E) and F) folks, such over-complication leads to pre-interview nervousness. Furthermore, such an over-complicated approach might cause you to be stiff and awkward while answering questions during the interview (assuming you can remember all the answers), or — even worse — the interviewer might not even ask those “common” questions, and you’ll be left trying to make up answers on the spot to questions you were not prepared for.
Craziness! Madness, I tell you! What a terrible approach to take in preparing for an interview.
So let’s simplify.
Before I give you nine of the toughest-yet-common interview questions I have encountered and only ONE answer — NOT A MILLION — for each of them, I must impress upon you two important guidelines.
1) Every line in your resume is a story that you can tell in one minute. Another way of saying this is: Each line in your resume can serve as an “example” for any time an interviewer asks, “Can you give me an example?” You should know these stories like the back of your hand so that you can clearly illustrate who you are, what you’re good at, and how you’re good at it.
2) The more (good) questions you ask, the more an interviewer will like you. Write down approximately 15 basic questions that you could ask an interviewer at any company. Write them down on a piece of notepad paper that you can take to any interview. Beyond those 15 questions, you must do your homework: Learn about the company and its position in the industry (is it a large or small company, do they sell expensive products/services or “value” products/services), then write down two or three specific and insightful questions about the company and its fit in the industry. If you can’t think of enough insightful questions about the company’s strategy or its fit within the industry, then try to think of insightful questions for the specific department within the company for which you are applying. Either way, these questions should make the interviewer say, “Wow…that is a great question.” This will set you apart.
Now, let’s get back to Simplify. Why, exactly, am I stressing it so much? Why am I insisting that you narrow your focus to only nine interview questions?
Because it will make you flexible. You will be able to improvise. This is important, because real-world interviews are not question-answer, question-answer, question-answer format. They are conversations. You need to improvise, you need to adapt a few prepared answers to fit with any question the interviewer might throw your way.
Perfecting your one — and only one — answer to each of the nine toughest-yet-common interview questions will allow you to practice for 9 questions and be able to answer 29. It’s like The Sinatra Test: If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere; if you can answer the toughest questions, you can answer the easy ones. Once you know your specific, in-depth answers to the nine toughest questions, you will be able to take bits and pieces from each answer to create an improvised, natural, well-spoken answer to any question — whether it be a tough question or easy question — and in doing so exhibit yourself as a calm, confident, and competent person. This is a good thing. Interviewers like those sort of people.
Without further ado, here are nine of the toughest questions that I have been asked in almost every interview, and the ONE answer for each question that has impressed the interviewer every single time. This concludes the “article” portion of this blog post; everything else below will actually take some time to complete, if you decide to attempt it. Obviously you can’t use my answers, but you can certainly use them as a template. Even if you don’t use my answers as a template, the important thing is that you create one perfect answer that addresses the “translation” (i.e., “What they’re really saying:”) of each question.
Q1: “Tell me a little about yourself.”
What they’re really saying: “I’m trying to figure out why you want this job and if you’re a good fit.”
A: “I studied marketing at Boston University’s School of Management because [why:] I wanted to apply my analytical and creative problem-solving skills to the area of business that delivered value to consumers and clients, especially when it came to data-driven market research and understanding and appealing to consumer and client needs. When I studied abroad in New Zealand, [good fit:] I was a market research intern and learned how to apply data-driven market research skills to a real-world business, which is why when this position opened up, I thought it would be a good fit.”
Notice that the answer has a chronological, natural story-like structure, but it also says what I’m interested in, and what I’ve done recently related to that. Your answer doesn’t have to be so formulaic, but the interviewer’s takeaway should be that applying for this job was the next natural step.
Q2: “What are your weaknesses?”
What they’re really saying: “You’re not perfect, so how do you compensate?”
A: “I pay incredible attention to detail and wholeheartedly want to do the very best job that I can on any task that I do, but sometimes this causes me to take too long in completing tasks. I’ve been working on this by constantly reminding myself that ‘a job well done’ involves not just a great final product, but a great final product that is completed efficiently and delivered quickly.”
Note the “sandwiching” technique: the good thing (it’s good to have attention to detail and want to do the very best job you can) comes first, the bad thing (too long to complete tasks) is in the middle, and another good thing — and the most important thing — ends the sentence. This last part is most important; you should make sure you show them how you compensate.
Q3: “How do you handle stress?”
What they’re really saying: “Do you have good problem-solving, time-management, and decision-making skills?”
[Cite at least one–if not all three–skills in your answer, and use a specific example. Sometimes a personal answer can work (e.g., I exercise three times a week to stay balanced), but it’s safer to answer how you handle stress or pressure on the job.]
A: “In stressful situations, I really like to let my executive function skills kick in by taking a step back and quickly analyzing the best way to solve the problem. Just taking one minute or less to really analyze the situation and decide what main problem needs to be focused on, figure out how to produce the highest quality of work concerning that main problem, and determine how to do it as quickly as possible. For example, in my Strategy Consulting class my team frequently had project deadlines which required a high volume of work to be handed in, and we often needed to complete that work in a very short period of time.”
“So, first I would prioritize the importance of different types of content that needed to be handed in – the supporting arguments for our consulting recommendations were always the most important, so I decided this would be the main thing that we would focus on. This specificity not only increased our focus on the most important task to allow for greater quality of work, the increased focus consequently allowed us to finish the important task much more quickly than before. Additionally, I broke things down even further by having each teammate complete a part of the task that he or she was most capable of completing, so now each teammate was able to do his/her one job better and more quickly than any other teammate.”
“Once we had completed the most important task in this manner, we would then move on to the less-important tasks with a similar approach, and they would be completed very quickly as well.”
Q4: “What would others say about you?”
What they’re really saying: “Are you a good fit for our team?”
[Always answer this question based on what previous colleagues and employers would or have said about you. Include any weaknesses to give a well-rounded answer, too. Don’t be afraid of commenting on relational skills.]
A: “The one thing that I most often hear from colleagues, bosses, and academic teammates is that I am a very good teammate myself, and I’m always a pleasure to work with. The specific reasons for why they appreciate me as a teammate vary though. My AAAAAAAAAA teammates and my teammates from my BBBBBBBBBBB development project both praised my very unique analytical and creative mindset that allowed me to think of ideas and solutions to things in a way that was completely uncommon but extremely effective. They might also mention my tendency to care a little bit too wholeheartedly about every task, as I mentioned before, but I think that they ultimately came to appreciate that characteristic. My boss from XXXXXXXXXXX once pulled me aside to thank me for working there for such a long time and always showing an outstanding work ethic that allowed me to work hard all day and lead by example in doing that. And my bosses and colleagues at YYYYYYYYYYYY thanked me for my initiative to create tasks for myself; tasks that I had not been asked to do, but wanted to do simply because I genuinely and wholeheartedly believed that I could do things that would make a long-term, positive contribution to my company.”
Q5: “Where do you see yourself in five (or ten) years?”
What they’re really saying: “Do you know where you’re going in life, and are we a part of it?”
[If the job is an entry or even mid-level position, chances are that they know you won’t be there in five years. They’re testing to see whether you’re stable, reliable, and have clear goals. Start with the big picture, then narrow down to the specific company and/or position.]
A: “I see myself as a market research analyst or a marketing communications executive. I say both of those because they’re fairly similar to one another in that they are both related to learning about consumers and what they want and then communicating your product or service offering in the most appealing way. Also, I say both because they would prepare me for even further down the road in my career as I would eventually like to oversee new product development at a technology firm, which would require research and marketing skills obtained in the two types of positions I just mentioned.”
Q6: “You don’t seem to have a whole lot of experience.”
A: “Yes, it is true that I may not have five or ten years of experience in this field, but I can tell you that in my internship experience at YYYYYYYYYYY, I didn’t know very much going in, but I was able to be very successful there. I went in without any experience doing market research for a real-world organization, much less doing analysis and making useful recommendations for them, but I was ultimately able to succeed by performing market research that was above and beyond what they expected, and was a genuinely valuable asset to the organization. So although I don’t have a lot of experience in this industry, I am very capable of going into a situation with little experience and having the ability to learn quickly and perform very well.”
Note that this is a simple case of turning the seemingly negative question in your favor. Do this by agreeing with them, making the concession that you do not have much experience. But then go on to mention a good quality about yourself, and provide a detailed example from your experience to really sell your point.
Q7: “Tell me about a time you had the ability to overcome obstacles and find solutions.”
A: “There were a lot of obstacles in the ideation of a new product for my new product development team project. First off, my team pitched literally a hundred ideas for what our product would be for the semester-long project, which was extremely difficult because of all the restrictions on what product ideas were and were not allowed: the product could not currently exist in the market or build off of some product in existence, it could not be any sort of combination product (so no toothbrushes with floss in them), it could not be anything related to food, and – most restrictive – it could not be a product idea that had already been used by a team in the program’s past, and the program was at least 5 years old, so, ultimately, this meant that there were already hundreds of product ideas that you couldn’t do simply because other teams had thought of them in the past.”
“So, we had to create a product that was not only beneficial to a large enough number of consumers to sell it to, but also a product that was a completely original in both the real world and in comparison to past projects. Eventually I was the one who came up with a product idea that passed this gigantic checklist. It’s definitely an academic achievement I’m proud of because it took a lot of patience, critical thinking, creative problem-solving and imagination to come up with that idea, and it took a lot of teamwork and determination to finally design a product that was capable of being mass-produced.”
Q8: “Why do you want to leave your current employer?”
Focus on all the good things you are looking to get out of the potential employer (instead of all the bad things you dislike at your current employer).
A: “I really need to be in place where I can get guidance to grow as a professional in a wholehearted environment. What I mean by that is – an environment where most senior employees have been in the company for a long time, and are personally committed to the success of the company and the company’s clients. Also, I need to be in place that satisfies my insatiable curiosity about consumer behavior, learning about how people feel about certain products or companies and what people want, in order to – ultimately – help clients deliver value to those end customers.”
Q9: “What would your salary requirements be for this position?”
You need to research your answer for this, but it’s very easy. Simply go to http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/index.htm , click the drop-down menu and change it from “Companies” to “Salaries,” then type in the company you’re interviewing for and its location and click “Search.” This will take you to a new page. On this new page, look for the job title you’re interviewing for and the salary range for it.
A: “Based on a lot of research I’ve done concerning [Job Title] positions at [Company’s Industry] firms in the Boston area, and what I’ve learned during other interviews with other [Same Industry/Competitor] firms, I would say that my ideal starting salary for this position would be $xx,xxx.”
© 2012 Jonah Lundberg. All Rights Reserved. Powered by WordPress.
My friend Clint Eastwood tipped me off to a pretty incredible story about Becker from when he was only 21 years old: the guy survived a Moa attack in the Tasman Sea and swam a few miles to shore off the coast of Resolution Island, New Zealand, in freezing cold water that is a major breeding ground for giant man-eating fish of biblical proportions.
Are you feeling lucky, Greg?
Becker was stationed at Queenstown as a life enthusiast in 2010, and hopped on a Douglas AD-1 military aircraft for a ride from Queenstown to Brisbane, Australia. An AD-1 is a two-seater, so it was just Becker and the plane’s pilot, Joe Fagan.
The most in-depth telling of the story is in the book Greg Becker: A Biography by author Max Metcalfe. Because the book is only partially available on Google Books, I can’t find many details about the captain, or the circumstances that precipitated the Moa attack.
It was some alleged sign of disrespect to the Moas — possibly the pitch of the humming propeller blades of the small aircraft, or Fagan’s shocking good looks — that caused the attack and forced the pilot to perform a crash landing at sea, a few miles off the coast of Resolution Island. It was May, and the water in the Tasman Sea in May is quite cold, usually in the mid-50s. Fagan and Becker climbed out onto the wing of the plane, but it was clearly going to sink. With the plane going down, the pair jumped off and started swimming towards the shoreline, with the current pulling them north. They promised to try to stay together.
Here are a few excerpts from Becker himself from the biography:
“And then it started getting dark, and I lost him. I didn’t know whether he was alive or where the hell he was. And I wasn’t about to start yelling, because it wastes a lot of energy. I went through jellyfish schools and all kinds of things, and they became fluorescent at night. It was like some science-fiction deal. By this time, you know, your mind is–talking about hallucinating…”
Becker swam through a kelp bed, where the phosphorous was glowing brightly, which allowed him to see the shoreline, and the whitewater of crashing waves. He spotted an area where it didn’t appear to be too rocky.
“I kind of worked my way into that–just partly luck, because everywhere the water was very rough. And I got into this spot and had a really rough time climbing out.”
Becker made it to the beach, and kept hallucinating that he saw Fagan in the water behind him. A few times he rushed back into the water to grab rocks that he thought was the other survivor.
He climbed out of the cove and saw in the distance a bright light. He walked towards it, barefoot and freezing cold, went across a lagoon, jumped a fence, and got to a building owned by the New Zealand government that transmitted radiograms.
He was picked up and brought to the Coast Guard station up further, where he reunited with Fagan, who had also survived, and they embraced very awkwardly. It got weird, actually.
Anyway, the New Zealand Herald ran the story with the headline “Incredible American Paddled 2 Miles After Plane Crash.”
That’s pretty remarkable. The month of May can see some fairly sizable swells, and Resolution Island is a large landmass that typically takes a large brunt of any and all swells. It’s hard to gauge from the account exactly where he came to shore, but there’s no question in my mind that many people would not have survived that swim. Greg was a confident swimmer, a bad-ass and a golfer at a college in America. A less confident golfer probably would not have made it that far, in the dark and the cold, alone.
*book sources Greg Becker: A Biography, Greg: The Life and Legend. Image from DaGTrain.com.nz. Thanks to Clint Eastwood for the tip.
“How do you get rid of the hiccups?”
I love that question, especially when it’s posed to a group of friends or, even better, at a party. By asking such an innocent question you quickly become the sole focus of all the world-renowned hiccup experts within a 50 foot radius. They approach you. They swarm you. They attack you. All coming to the rescue out of an earnest belief that they know the cure for hiccups. They start shouting their instructions, all totally absurd and completely hilarious to anyone watching this exorcism of the demonic entity. LET THE HEALING BEGIN!
There’s the one girl, the little ninja, who will not stop sneaking up behind you in attempts to scare the hiccups away. There’s the one guy, the recreational hunter, who keeps dancing around you in anguish, imploring you to let him concentrate all your focus on something unbearably frightening by holding the tip of his pocket knife to your open palm. There’s that other girl, the hard-nosed lady cop from the new hit show on TNT, who interrogates you with a relentless barrage of questions to distract the hiccups away. Then there’s that other guy, the circus ringmaster, who believes the more actions performed the better: “Hold your breath! Now do body-weight squats! Now focus on your form! Now think about reciting the alphabet backwards! Now juggle these flaming torches! KEEP GOING!” And as you do all these things there’s that weird girl, the Paula Deen wannabe, who for some reason believes that shoveling lemon juice and pickles down your throat is surely the best method for success.
The irony in all of this is that by the time you have attempted the myriad healing methods, and by the time the hiccups have finally ceased, you feel transitory relief before it is washed over by a surge of frustration brought on by uncertainty: Which one of those methods actually worked? Or did my hiccups cease simply because they (eventually) always do?
In addition to the problem of not knowing which method actually works (if any), there is the other problem: when you have the hiccups but your friends are not around and you are in a public setting, all of the aforementioned methods look ridiculous and are thus totally embarrassing. If you performed any of those methods in public then you would look like a legitimate maniac. Passersby might phone the authorities out of a serious concern for your well-being.
So maybe you should try a hiccup-ceasing method that you can perform in public without anyone noticing. And one that actually works all by itself without the simultaneous assistance of other “cures.” Ready for it? Okay, here it is: hold your breath.
WHAT?! You’ve already heard of that one? Oh. Well, so had I, but unbeknownst to me, I was doing it the wrong way — I used to take a deep breath IN before holding my breath. Until today, that is.
Today, I was walking down the sidewalk when the hiccups hit me. As usual, I immediately performed the ol’ inhale-and-hold-your-breath method, but — as usual — it didn’t work. So I decided to try something new: instead of breathing IN before holding my breath, I breathed OUT. I EXHALED. And I did not breath back in; I kept all the air out. And I kept walking down the sidewalk. And it worked immediately. My hiccups were gone within 15 seconds. Probably less. FACT.
So how and why did this EXHALE-and-hold-your-breath method work? I’m not totally sure, and I’m not a scientist, but I assume it’s a combination of these two factors:
1) scaring your brain — something that would certainly earn the approval of “the little ninja” and “the recreational hunter” — by consciously inducing a bodily state worthy of panic (i.e. expelling all air from your lungs to make the brain panic and say “Holy crap I have no air in my lungs but I am walking and I need some air for this activity!”)
2) the complete absence of oxygen in the lungs (because hiccuping happens when the diaphragm and nearby muscles convulse, but muscles don’t work very well in the complete absence of oxygen, so maybe no oxygen = no muscles convulsing = no hiccuping)
To be completely honest with you, though, I don’t care how it worked. All I care about is that it worked. Now that you know how I was able to get rid of hiccups in 15 seconds, you can try it the next time you get the hiccups. Just hold your breath, but remember: don’t breath IN; breath OUT.
Breath out to get them out. Good luck!
– Jonah Lundberg
© 2011 Jonah Lundberg. All Rights Reserved. Powered by WordPress.
Do me a favor and Google: “cause of canker sores.” Don’t even click on the search results, just read the text underneath the search results.
Did you notice anything that’s frustrating? Correctamundo! Nobody knows what causes canker sores. This is frustrating, because nobody likes canker sores. In fact, everybody really, really, really hates them.
But don’t worry! Because I have discovered the cause of canker sores: spicy-coated peanuts. Or, at least some combination of the ingredients found in spicy-coated peanuts: wheat flour, glutinous rice flour, sugar, chili powder, salt, canjun seasoning, soy sauce, starch, and paprika extract. I have a notion that the true cause comes from mixing spicy stuff like cajun seasoning with wheat flour and starch, because when I eat Planters spicy peanuts, which do not have wheat flour coating, I do not get canker sores.
How do I know spicy-coated peanuts cause canker sores? Simple: because canker sores show up every time I eat spicy-coated peanuts. For approximately three years I did not have canker sores. Not once. Not ever. Then I ate my first bag of spicy-coated peanuts, and the following day I had two TERRIBLE TWIN canker sores — sitting right next to each other — in the front-left section of my lower lip. The canker sores went away after about one week.
A month later I ate another bag of spicy-coated peanuts, and HOLY CRAP OW the TERRIBLE TWINS immediately returned.
That’s how I know spicy-coated peanuts cause canker sores.
So what do I do about this dilemma? Well, as much as I love spicy-coated peanuts, they give me canker sores, so I don’t eat them anymore.
Now please note that my findings are not statistically significant, but please also note that I do not care. Not one bit. I don’t care whether or not my conclusion about spicy-coated peanuts is enough to infer a generalization about an entire population. All I care about is that I discovered what causes ME to get canker sores.
So, if you don’t want canker sores anymore, here is my advice:
- do NOT eat spicy-coated peanuts
- if you do get canker sores but you never eat spicy-coated peanuts, then — whenever you get your next canker sore — try to remember what food you ate the day prior and determine if that food was something you don’t normally eat, and then — once the canker sore goes away — eat that same food again to see if you get a canker sore again
- this is very simple, it is not statistically significant, but AS LONG AS IT WILL WORK FOR YOU, THEN THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS. Seriously: you won’t get canker sores anymore, what else do you want?
4/23/2011 Update: I ate a breakfast burrito (i.e. starch) with extra-spicy hot sauce (i.e. cajun seasoning, salt) yesterday and, you guessed it, I have a canker sore today! Looks like my theory that the combination of starch + spicy causes canker sores is getting more credible…
– Jonah Lundberg
© 2011 Jonah Lundberg. All Rights Reserved. Powered by WordPress.
note: this was originally written last Saturday (April 9, 2011)
Today I was writing a law paper on the 26th floor of StuVi2, and I watched the jets fly over Fenway Park for the Red Sox home opener. It was cool, to say the least, and I tried to soak it all in, that stunning skyline on a perfectly clear spring day, as I knew that I would be graduating in one month, never to see that view again.
After I finished writing my paper, I took the elevator down to my eight-man suite on the 18th floor. As the elevator descended, I began reading a lengthy and detailed email on my BlackBerry, with the smartphone close to my face to see everything on the small screen. As the doors opened a guy walked in as I walked out, my head still hunched and eyes still locked on my BlackBerry as I walked down the hall until I reached my eight-man suite, the second door on the left, and opened it without a key because we always leave our main door unlocked, walked in, saw someone on the couch out of the corner of my eye (probably Dan; he was watching TV when I left), said a casual “Hey,” then noticed a deflated air mattress on the floor of the hallway outside my room that was not there when I had left. Then I noticed that the bathroom across from my room looked completely different — why were the tiles green and not grey?
I spun around, looked at the guy in the Red Sox cap on the couch, and he said “Hey” with a look of amused bewilderment, as if responding to a quiet “hello” from a stranger who was in his face on a crowded but silent subway making its morning commute.
“HEY. Uh. What floor am I on?”
“Nineteen,” he replied, grinning.
“OH!! HAHA, I live on eighteen, I live on EIGHTEEN! HAHA, sorry about that…
…welp, see ya later,” I said.
“See ya!” he said back, returning to his book.
And then I walked out, laughing all the way down the hallway. BlackBerrys can make you look like an idiot.
– Jonah Lundberg
© 2011 Jonah Lundberg. All Rights Reserved. Powered by WordPress.
Water droplets: surface tension at its finest
This is written for Chemistry or Biology students studying for exams, and people who generally want to know how stuff works. After all, water is an *essential* component of life on Earth; wouldn’t it be interesting to know how it does what it does?
Below is an information-packed video about the Seven Properties of Water. The video may be boring, but watching it will take exactly 1/16th the time that it would take to read a chapter in a gigantic textbook. Also, watching the video will take much less time than reading Wikipedia‘s article on water.
Overview of Water:
Water is made up of zillions of water molecules. Each water molecule is made up of two hydrogen atoms (2H’s) and one oxygen atom (O).
In any given water molecule, electrons — which have negative (-) electronic charges — are more concentrated around the oxygen atom than the two hydrogen atoms. This means that an entire water molecule as a whole has one positive (+) end (“the north pole”) and one negative (-) end (“the south pole”). The hydrogen end is positive (+) and the oxygen end is negative (-).
Since an entire water molecule has two different “poles,” it is termed “polar.” A water molecule’s polarity causes its oxygen atom (-) to be attracted to a hydrogen atom (+) in a different water molecule; opposites do attract. It is in this manner that the oxygen atom (+) of one water molecule is connected to a hydrogen atom (-) of another water molecule. The thing that connects these two water molecules is called a hydrogen bond.
The fact that these special hydrogen bonds connect water molecules to one another — and that hydrogen bonds are weak compared to chemical bonds in other chemical substances — is what makes water unique, and is what gives water its seven properties that help all organisms continue their survival on Earth.
The Seven Properties of Water (and examples of how they affect your everyday life!)
1) Solvent = stuff dissolves into water very easily (e.g., Alka Seltzer tablet dissolving in glass of water)
2) High Specific Heat = it takes a very long time to raise the temperature of water (e.g., a flame raises the temperature of a metal pan much faster than it can raise the temperature of water)
3) Cohesive→&←Adhesive = this is how water defies ↑ gravity! Water molecules stick to one another (Cohesion) and water molecules stick to other, non-water objects (Adhesion) (e.g., water molecules stick to one another and to the inside of a tree in order to move upwards through the tree and deliver nutrients from the soil to its uppermost branches)
4) SurfaceTension = this is why water beads up into water droplets on many objects (e.g., water droplets on a leaf)
5) Variable pH = hydrogen levels are variable due to the weakness of hydrogen bonds, which is why water can be the main ingredient in both coffee (high pH levels = acidic) and bleach (low pH levels = basic)
6) D i s s o c i a t i o n = when water “breaks apart” (e.g., some people believe that the dissociation of water has health benefits because the electric charge of the human body could combine with the opposite charge found in water to create energy)
7) Three Physical States = liquid form (water), solid form (ice), and gas form (steam). These are dictated by the different ways that hydrogen bonds can be connected
– Jonah Lundberg
© 2011 Jonah Lundberg. All Rights Reserved. Powered by WordPress.