Interview Transcript: Why & How To Create One

    Danilo Coviello

    In businesses and even routine activities, interviews are crucial to building engagement and making more sales. They serve as documentation and reference points for further research and analysis. However, a recorded interview by itself offers little to no benefits to you.

    Listening to 4-7 hours of recordings is already hectic and time-consuming; narrowing down the vital details is even more work. To make the most of your time and efforts, you need an interview transcript.

    In this post, we will explain the importance of interview transcription and transcription services to your organization and businesses. Also, we have included a simple step-by-step guide to help you transcribe an interview.

    What Is An Interview Transcript? Why Do You Need One?

    An interview transcript is a document that contains the written words contained in a recorded interview. With one, you can conveniently scan through hours of audiotapes.

    Even better, you can move seamlessly through sections of the transcribed text file and make desired changes and analysis. But how does that help you and your business?

    Interview Transcripts Save You Money

    If you scanned a recorded interview and couldn’t find a crucial element, the chances are that you will organize another. However, the “element” could be in the audio, but you just couldn’t find it.

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    In that case, you would have spent more money needlessly organizing new interviews and settling the key speakers. When you transcribe an interview, on the other hand, you can thoroughly scan the details of the transcript.

    In other words, you will get the information that you need and only conduct another interview if necessary. In essence, if you choose to transcribe an interview, you will save the money you could have invested in other parts of your business.

    Interview Transcripts Ensure Accuracy

    If you plan to quote the person being interviewed verbatim for research purposes, you should get it right. Just think, failure to appropriate accuracy could hurt your chances of securing another interview subject. Worse, you might accrue substantial legal duties if said person being interviewed sued you for falsified information.

    When you transcribe your interview, you won’t need to worry about legal issues or missing out on your next speaker. That’s because a transcript comes with the assurance of accuracy, and with one, you can quote your interviewee verbatim.

    Besides quoting your interview subjects, accuracy yet helps you build relevancy in your industry. The last thing you want is an audience questioning your authority, as that might hurt your sales.

    Lastly, transcribing your interview allows you to reflect on your questioning methods. A transcript will further educate you on asking the right questions and coordinating the dialogue to get the crucial details for your business.

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    Interview Transcripts Aid Collaboration

    The findings of your interview can be crucial to your company objectives and schedule. In that case, several departments in the company will require access to the files at one point or another – or even simultaneously.

    Unfortunately, audio files often come in enormous memory bits and could take time to get across to your team members. If you try to shrink the size, you will damage the quality and the hope of extracting any information.

    On the other hand, transcribed interviews are text files that take minimal time to share or send. That means you save time with less upload time and more collaboration. Even better, your team members can add notes to the document for brainstorming among the group.

    Outside your company, a transcribed interview makes synergy faster and convenient among business partners. That might seem insubstantial, but it could help you build relationships quickly and secure more lucrative deals for your company.

    Now that you understand the importance of transcribing your interview recording, how can you go about it? What are the steps you should take?

    How To Transcribe An Interview: The Step-By-Step Guide

    Step 1: Get Your Interview Transcription Tools

    The first step to getting the desired accuracy from your interview transcription is investing in the right tools. The aids won’t only save you face and time but make your transcript precise with a smooth flow.

    Luckily, the right tools won’t cost you a fortune. The aids are basic, affordable requirements to bring you comfort, and they include:

    ● Headphones: will help you rid background noise that distracts you while you transcribe your interview. We will advise you to get in-ear headphones because their speaker quality is incredible.

    If you sit for long, especially when the audio file recording is over 6 hours for example, don’t use over-ear headphones. They can get sweaty and make you uncomfortable. Instead, invest in the quality in-ear kinds.

    ● A computer: you don’t need an expensive or a programming computer to transcribe your interviews or audio recording. Nevertheless, we will advise you to invest in a device with a suitable processing power for your transcription routine. Else, your work will lag, and such would be time-consuming.

    ● A transcription software: is another critical requirement for DIY interview transcripts. It allows you to control the playback speed of the audio as you take note of the vital details. Some could even transcribe your interview for your first draft.

    However, note that “transcription software” is different from “transcription playback software.” The latter doesn’t transcribe your interviews; it only eases the playback control.

    Overall, it is best that you hire transcription services providers like Espresso Translation or you do it DIY with a word processor.

    ● A word processor: lets you write out the dialogues in the most comprehensive manner. Fortunately, there are various processors you can choose from to smoothen your audio transcripts.

    However, we will advise you to use Google Docs as it is free and perfect for collaboration. Also, Google Docs automatically uploads your work to the cloud, and you wouldn’t worry about losing hours of transcription.

    Step 2: Decide On The Transcription Method To Use

    Before you start to transcribe your interview, you must first decide on the outlook of the transcript. And the way to achieve your aim, regardless of your industry, is to understand the different transcription methods.

    1. Verbatim Transcription

    In verbatim transcription, you will transcribe the interviewer and interviewee word for word. You will even indicate the feelings and emotions such as hesitations, pauses, stutters, and laughter in a verbatim transcript.

    In our understanding, verbatim transcription is the perfect fit for professionals in the legal industry. Besides legal professions, you can use this transcription method when the focus is “what is said” and “how the speakers said what.”

    2. Intelligent Verbatim Transcription

    Intelligent verbatim transcription is the most commonly used method because it makes audio transcripts readable and ensures you have included every important detail within the speech. Unlike in the former approach, you will not include the emotions when you transcribe your interview here.

    In other words, you will transcribe word for word but without pauses, hesitations, false starts and other fillers. Also, intelligent transcription alters statements when the sentences are incomplete, grammatically incorrect, or too long.

    3. Edited Transcription

    When you edit the audio transcripts from intelligent verbatim transcription even further, you are doing an “edited transcription.” In this method, you remove more filler content and sentences that don’t necessarily add meaning to your document.

    Overall, note that no one transcription method is the best. Each fits different purposes, and your end goal will often help you decide which to use.

    Step 3: Learn The Shortcuts Of Your Transcription Software

    You can cut the time needed for transcribing your interview or audio or video recording even further with shortcut keys. Nonetheless, you don’t have to go overboard and learn the whole thing.

    Keys like pause, start, stop, replay should suffice for a start. Don’t stop at just the shortcuts of the transcription software; learn those for your word processors too.

    Step 4: Listen To The Interview Tape Before You Transcribe

    Regardless of who recorded the audio or video interview tapes, you should listen again and give an overview before you start transcribing. More so, it is best to firstly ascertain if the recordings are even worth your time before you spend hours drafting a transcript.

    More importantly, listening to the recording first before transcribing lets you know about the audio quality. If it’s not clear enough, you might as well save your energy and hire a transcription service provider right away.

    On the other hand, say the audio quality is crisp and clear, then you can go ahead to step 5.

    Step 5: Start Transcribing

    The previous four steps have prepared you well enough for the most crucial detail: interview transcription. So, get your transcription tools ready and start the tape recording.

    However, note that video transcriptions need more focus as the content is more engaging and can easily distract you. For those kinds, ensure you set your mood right before you start.

    Lastly, at the transcription level, don’t worry about grammar or spelling mistakes. If you use a processor like Google Docs, it will highlight those for you. After you have completed transcribing the interview tape or recording, you can edit it in the following steps.

    Step 6: Edit The Transcript To Suit Your Style

    The chances are that you used the verbatim transcription method while transcribing. Then, you have the best draft that you can further edit and retune to meet your requirements.

    Now, edit the rough draft. The first point you should note is the shorthands you have used. For example, you should expand abbreviations such as “2” and “BC” back to their original form (to and because). You can use the “find and replace” tool to make such a task more comfortable for you.

    Furthermore, you can add clarifying comments where the transcript seems broken. For example, you can substitute ellipses for inaudible words between a sentence.

    Lastly, check your transcript to include basics like:

    ● Name of the speakers – the interviewer(s) and interviewee(s)

    ● Date, time, and location of the interview

    ● Timestamps and line numbers

    Overall, check with your company’s standards and requirements to make the just-fit edit to your transcripts.

    Step 7: Listen To Interview Again While You Read The Transcript

    Indeed, you already have the first draft of your interview transcript. But remember, there are still a few missing links you must correct. Besides, your document might still have a few errors your spell checker overlooked.

    So, this time, listen again to the speaker interview and follow the words on your transcripts. That way, you will correct the remaining missing pieces and errors.

    Now, you can format your interview to suit your font or share it with your team members. We will advise that you let a few people check the final work to correct any remaining errors leaving you with a clean audio and video transcription of your recording.

    Additional Tips To Make Interview Transcription More Comfortable For You

    1. Always note that interviews follow question and answer format.

    2. Let questions and their corresponding answers follow each other.

    3. Use initials to represent the speakers after you must have spelled out the names.

    4. Play only a part of the audio while you transcribe. In other words, take your time.

    5. If something is not clear after re-listening to the interview, you can make an intelligent guess. However, put such guesses in brackets.

    6. Let a paragraph represent an idea.

    7. Spell out abbreviations after your first draft.

    8. Listen to the interview tape and adjust the punctuations.

    9. Depending on your style, remove short breaks and filler content that express emotions.

    10. If you’re working with several interview tapes, save each into separate files.

    11. Let an extra eye help you with the final read before publication.

    Overall, note that an interview transcription, even with our guide and tips, is time-consuming. A transcript can take up to four times the minutes of the recorded tape to finish. For example, you will spend up to 4hours to transcribe an hour interview.

    In that case, if you will be transcribing interviews regularly, you should invest in a trusted transcription service provider. That point is where we at Espresso Translation can help.

    Why You Should Trust Espresso Translations

    We are a fast-growing, leading ISO-certified agency based in the UK. Since we started operations a decade ago, we have helped individuals, businesses, and corporations with a vast array of professional language solutions. Regardless of your niche or language, we have expert transcriptionists and translators that boast years of customer satisfaction.

    With our transcript resources services, you can transcribe the audio of your interviewer recording quickly and easily, without needing to spend time purchasing headphones or a speaker, writing out lengthy speech, learning difficult editing skills etc. Our audio transcription services make the whole process simple, giving you a full edited transcript of your interviewer recording, saving you a lot of time and energy that you can dedicate to your important tasks instead.

    So, reach out today, and let’s take the stress of interview transcription off you!