52 Weeks of Free Advice: #2 What to Do When You Hang up the Phone After an Interview and Realize You’ve Provided False Information
When you are participating in an interview, the primary goal is to ensure that an accurate, positive story is curated. You want to make sure that the information being provided is error-free and that it paints you, your client or your company in a positive light.
It happens to the best of us – sometimes we forget key pieces of information, misinterpret something we were told or end up having wrong information altogether.
In the age of aggregate news sites where an online news story is instantaneously published in additional news outlets that will copy the story verbatim, accuracy is more essential than ever before. If you share inaccurate information, it can be tempting to let it slide or hope it goes away on its own. Though this option seems easier, it is imperative and simpler in the long run that the information is corrected before it continues to spread.
John Bohannon wrote and published a fake study, stating that he, along with a team of German researchers, had discovered that people adhering to a low-carb diet would lose weight 10% faster if they consumed chocolate each day. Reportedly, this story was published and copied in more than 20 countries, talked about on news shows and was translated to six different languages. The story was featured in publications such as Shape, and Bild.
Making a timely correction to the original article after noticing the misinformation helps to avoid the spread of the mistake, decreases risk of damaging reputations and actually recovers your credibility when you retell the story later. It’s crucial to pick up the phone and correct it yourself; the reporter will respect your commitment to journalistic integrity. Maintaining the respect of the media organization you are working with is essential, and although this may seem like a hassle, it’s better to correct the mistake than to the reputation of someone who is a source of fake news.
Bottom line: just pick up the phone and correct the information. It’s as simple as the chocolate diet.