When the Lance Armstrong interview airs this Thursday night on OWN, we’re already hearing via CBS News and The Associated Press that he confessed to doping.
What can we learn from all of this, in particular as it relates to ethics and landing a big interview from a career perspective?
Aside from countless discussions we can have about credibility, PR damage control and related topics, there are a few things we can learn without having even watched the interview yet.
1. Be honest. This sounds so old school but nothing could be more important than ethics and integrity.
This starts from the moment you submit a job application to the job interview itself to working at a new employer. As we all know, Armstrong stuck to his same story for years, apparently covered it up and decided to come clean now.
Arthur L. Caplan and Lee H. Igel, both Ph.D.’s and affiliated with NYU’s Sports and Society Program, explained on Forbes that admitting his behavior now doesn’t exactly excuse it.
“That Armstrong cheated is old news. By the time the interview runs, he will apparently be the last to know what has been evident to anyone who cared. But admitting he did cheat does not excuse what he did to others all during his drug-aided career—covering-up his behavior, and making people and institutions pay when they challenged his lies. Admitting to what he did does not even start the process of seeking the sort of forgiveness he needs to get for what he did to so many others when he was not ready to tell the truth.”
2. Go for the big interview. From Oprah Winfrey’s perspective and her own career, she asked him for an interview last year via e-mail.
According to CBS, she didn’t really expect a response but instead, he actually requested lunch in Hawaii. Winfrey extended her Hawaiian vacation over the holidays by two days to meet with the iconic athlete as staff and guests left her abode so the two of them could talk in private.
Turns out, she claimed that’s “the biggest interview I’ve ever done.” How it will boost ratings, we’ll see in a due time but why not go for the brass ring?
3. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Winfrey was “mesmerized and riveted” by some of Armstrong’s answers but prior to the sit down in Austin, she prepared, watched copious reports, read Seven Deadly Sins, the works.
She recalled, “I had prepared and prepared like it was a college exam and walked into the room with 112 questions.” After two and a half hours, she asked most questions but felt he answered the questions “in a way that he was ready.”