Monday, December 4, 2023

How To Properly Transcribe An Interview

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Understand How Long Interview Transcription Takes

Transcribing Your Research Interview: Tips & Tricks

If youre not an experienced transcriber, and youre not using any specialized equipment.

Just some headphones and a standard keyboard.

It can take you between 6-8 hours to transcribe an interview thats 60 minutes long.

More difficult audio files with multiple speakers, technical jargon that requires research, background noise etc. can take close to 10 or 12 hours for the same audio duration i.e. 60 minutes.

If youre a complete newbie, it can take you 24 hours to transcribe the same audio length that it takes an experienced transcriber somewhere around 5-6 hours.

As a rule of thumb, you will transcribe 5-10 minutes per hour if youre really on it.

Yes, interview transcription is time consuming.

However PLEASE NOTE: You can cut down on transcription time massively by using a transcription foot pedal.

Which brings us to the next point.

The Best Way To Transcribe An Interview Without Having To Do Shit Or Pay

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Már tries to juggle his editorial duties with writing the occasional weird article. He also loves talking about himself in the third person. Már tries to juggle his editorial duties with writing the occasional weird article. He also loves talking about himself in the third person.

Welcome toTNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff.

Transcribing interviews is a pain, theres no doubt about it. Listening back to the conversation, it becomes painfully obvious how often people sniff, how incoherent their sentences are, and how awful your own voice sounds. Add on top of that hours of manually transcribing each word and youve got yourself a hellish day. Luckily, were here to help.

First up, what do we want from a transcribing experience? Accuracy is important, it has to be easy to use, and it doesnt hurt if its free.

Being a writer, Im always on the prowl for an easy solution to transcribe interviews. Ive tried dozens of free apps and trials, but the one that really stands out for English is Dont worry though, Ill also delve into a non-English solution further down.

Sentence And Paragraph Structure

  • Use word wrap when writing. Fix any line breaks in the middle of your paragraphs before submitting the work.
  • Do not use double spaces after sentences or anywhere else. You can use Search & Replace function in your word processor to change all double spaces to single ones.
  • Follow correct grammar. All sentences should start with a capital letter and have the correct punctuation.
  • Where possible, break compound sentences into smaller ones. Long sentences should be broken into fragments.
  • Keep your paragraphs short to a maximum of 400 characters.
  • Insert a blank line between paragraphs. Also, start a new paragraph at every speaker change.
  • Do not indent anything.

Also Check: How To Prepare For An Engineering Interview

Example Of An Interview Transcript

There may be different formats for interview transcripts depending on the purpose of the interview. Here is a common example of an interview transcript:

Date: Wednesday, July 23

Meeting place: Room N102Attendees: MS = Michael Stowfield , LB = Lincoln Burnnos

MS: Welcome back, Lincoln. This is the third part of our interview, and I would like to get you through these as efficiently as possible as I know you have another interview later in the day.

LB: Thank you. I would greatly appreciate that.

MS: It states on your resume that you use to work for JKL Company, in the sales department. What did you do there?

LB: Yes. I worked as a Sales Manager there for two years. I increased sales from $500-000 to $1 million over the course of those two years.

MS: So you increased sales there by $500,000 in only two years?

LB: Yes, and Im very proud of that.

MS: Yes, thats very impressive Lincoln. Sorry, one sec. Susan is bringing us some coffee.

MS: No, no, thats great. Thanks, Susan. Good.

MS: I see you started your own sales company too. Was that intentional, or did it just sort of happen?

LB: Really, sort of both. I got into sales to help out a friend of mine and before I knew it I was running my own company. At first, I didnt really know how anything worked, but I was quickly able to adapt while also building up sales.

Steve: That does sound extremely challenging.

Organise Your Time Wisely

How to Transcribe an Interview

Once youre clear on the type of interview transcription needed, you can plan how youre going to approach it. The length of time itll take to carry out the transcription will depend on the kind of transcription it is for instance, verbatim transcriptions require a 100% level of accuracy, and will require a stop-and-start approach when you get into the writing of it. Youll also need to think about how speedy you are at typing, and the quality of the audio. For example, if the sound is muffled in places, this will be more difficult to transcribe. Plan your time with these things in mind.

You should also consider the volume of the transcription work you need done. If its a short interview, you can probably handle it yourself, but if you need a lot of lengthy interviews transcribed, it may be best to turn to professional transcription services.

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Checkout And Receive Your Transcript Over Email When Its Finished

It depends on the length of your file, but transcripts are usually delivered within a day.

If you want a more affordable option, Rev also offers machine-generated interview transcriptions for only $0.25 per audio or video minute.

We also include access to a variety of editing tools, including our world class transcript editor. These tools let you review and annotate your completed transcript as needed, right alongside the audio file.

Tips To Transcribe An Interview

  • Write the name of the interviewer, interviewee, time, date and location, where it took place.
  • Interviews are generally in question and answer format. Use foot pedal to stop and start your tape. Play a small section at a time and type as you hear them. Repeat the tape as and when required. Include both questions as well as interviewee’s answer.
  • Transcribe each and every word. Sometimes some words are not very clear, there you read the whole paragraph and make an intelligent guess. Put that into a bracket to show that it is your text, not from the original sources.
  • Insert a paragraph in between whenever an interviewee makes a new idea. Put a space in between each speaker. If needed, you can edit into more paragraph in the final copy.
  • After finishing the initial draft, listen to the tape again. Read the transcribed interview at the same time. Do corrections, if necessary.
  • Now start editing. Spell out abbreviations and clear all punctuations.
  • Correct grammar and the content in the final copy.
  • Edit excessive use of verbal tics like I mean, you know etc. You can also edit um, uh like fillers, which is a distraction while delivering a message of the total interview.
  • Save each stage of your typed interview in a separate file for further reference.
  • Check spelling for the last time. Now it is ready for publication.
  • We offer standard transcript formats or can create a custom format on request. Here is a brief overview of our transcript formats and style types.

    Also Check: How To Get A Job Interview

    How To Transcribe An Interview: Everything You Need To Know

    Transcribing an interview can be tricky business. Its a time-consuming process one that requires a lot of patience and, in some instances, meticulous attention to detail. With the right preparation techniques and understanding, though, you can become a master at transcribing interviews. Heres how

    Dont Forget The Audio Quality

    Doing a transcription for qualitative research

    When recording, it is important to make sure that the audio runs throughout the whole conversation and that the recording device is somewhere strategically located – where it can pick up everything clearly. This, of course, depends on whether the transcriptionists are going to record the audio for themselves or if the audio will be simply handed to them.

    When told to transcribe an interview, it is important to request for a good quality recording. This can be done by making sure that the recording device is able to capture what is said by both the interviewer and the one being interviewed or that the recording device is basically a good quality recording device.

    Also Check: How To Prepare For Product Manager Interview

    What Is An Example Of A Transcript

    When someone listens to an audio tape and writes out all of the things said on the tape, the resulting writing is an example of a transcript. A list of all of a students classes and grades in those classes is an example of a transcript. A record of a students academic performance issued by an institution of learning.

    Rely On Reduct For Super Accurate & Fast Interview Transcripts

    Reduct provides users with both computer and human transcription services. Both are fast and accurate but are useful in different circumstances, so first let’s look at when to choose each of them.

    Reduct’s computer transcription, or automatic transcription, is computer-generated and delivered to you very quickly. Our computer transcription service is free with our subscription, about 85% accurate, and ready in just a few minutes. It’s a great choice if you

    • Only need transcription for your own use and don’t need it to be perfect
    • Want a more cost-effective transcript
    • Need a transcript as fast as possible
    • Have a very clear audio recording

    Note: Our computer transcripts are on par with the industry standard for accuracy. But unlike many transcription services including Zoom’s built-in transcription we allow speakers to provide “hints for transcription” when uploading audio/video files to improve the quality of their transcripts. These “hints” let users provide glossaries and speaker names so our platform can detect and accurately transcribe those terms or phrases. This feature is super beneficial when using computer transcription, but it’s also nice to provide these transcription hints for human transcribers so they have an easier time transcribing unclear audio.

    Although it’s more costly than automatic transcription, at $1.67 per audio minute, Reduct’s human transcription service is the cheapest 24-hour service available. It is an excellent option if you

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    How Do I Transcribe An Audio File In Word

    If you already have an audio file that you want to transcribe, you can upload it to Word. Sign in to Microsoft 365, and open Word. In the Home tab, click the arrow next to Dictate and then select Transcribe from the menu that appears. The Transcribe pane will open in the right-hand side of the window.

    Transcribing Interviews In English

    How to Transcribe Audio

    Honestly, I dont like being overly positive when it comes to services and products, but the free version of is the very best solution Ive found so far. Its extremely simple and easy to use:

    • You create an account
    • Upload an audio file or record directly via
    • Then it automatically churns out a transcript in a few minutes, split up into paragraphs with time stamps, and each section is marked by different speakers
    • Then you can edit, listen back to, and search the interview, as well as change the speakers names to indicate who is talking

    The free version comes with plenty of options and 600 minutes of transcription every month, which is more than enough for my usage. But theres also a premium paid version which provides 6,000 minutes and comes with some additional features.

    Otter.ais transcription is generally quite accurate, but you might run into some trouble if youre using technical/specific vocabulary, or if the speakers accent is quite thick and the quality of the audio recording is low.

    But even in those cases, I find useful because of the time stamps. If I do a 40-minute interview, I might remember afterwards there was an interesting quote Id like to grab. Then I simply search for a keyword that I think the AI mightve caught despite audio issues, and listen back to the quote rather than trust the transcription blindly. Basically, it creates a way for you to use CTRL+F/CMD+F on an audio file which is awesome.

    Also Check: What Questions Do They Ask You At A Job Interview

    Allows You To Reassess Candidates

    Having a transcript means you can refer to the interview more than once. The transcript can allow you to review the candidate’s responses multiple times and carefully note what you might have missed. Having a detailed document about the interview can help you gain a more accurate assessment of the candidate by reviewing as many times as necessary.

    Whats The Best Transcription Software

    The Best Voice to Text Transcription Software

    • Temi. Temi is the industry leader in speech recognition software and has been used by ESPN, PBS, The University of Texas, and other major corporations.
    • Rev. Rev is the best voice to text solution if you need the best of all worlds.
    • Dragon Anywhere.
    • Speechnotes.

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    How To Transcribe An Interview Manually

    Here are the 8 steps to follow to transcribe an interview from start to finish:

  • Listen to the full recording before transcribing.
  • Calculate how long it will take
  • Pick the right tools
    • Technical terminology.
    • Whether you want to transcribe the full recording or just some parts of it, etc.

    Once you understand the complexity of the recording, youll know whether you should use an audio-to-text converter, transcribe it youself, or outsource it to an agency/freelancer.

    Identify The Purpose Of The Transcript

    3 Tips For How To Transcribe An Interview

    The purpose of the transcript determines its format and structure. If the transcript is for personal use, it might not be necessary to use a rigid structure. If you are writing a verbatim transcript to be read by someone else, it’s important to ensure accuracy. Making a report based on the interview typically requires a detailed transcription, but if you only want to quote specific sections of the interview, it’s typically faster to only review those sections. Considering the purpose of the transcript can help you choose the most effective approach to use before you start writing.

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    Top Hacks For How To Transcribe An Interview

    Many interviews work well using just audio or video, but including a transcript or caption with the audio or video is becoming increasingly useful. People often prefer to read what was said, and having a transcript also makes it much easier to follow the audio or the video and go back to any point of interest. Transcripts or captions of a video are also very important for search engine optimization and help spread awareness of the audio or video for marketing purposes.

    The trouble with transcribing an interview is that it can be challenging as it takes a lot of time. Be aware, if your interview is around 1 hour long, then it may take as much as 6 hours to transcribe and write up. If you choose to transcribe the interview yourself then the following tips should help ensure your interview is transcribed properly.

    Easy Steps To Transcribe An Interview

    It is important to note, that transcription software requires either the download of the software onto the computer or in many instances with the increased usage of smartphones or tablets, the installation of the application onto the device. The following steps that are relatively uniform will be discussed:

    Also Check: How To Make An Interview Successful

    What Level Of Detail Will You Need

    As we discussed previously, the purpose of the transcription will dictate the required level of detail. There are several options available to you including:

    Full-Verbatim The interview in its rawest form with every word detailed, including umms, ahs, pauses, false starts and other verbal tics.

    Intelligent Verbatim Also known as verbatim, clean verbatim or word-for-word, this is a slightly more polished version of the full-verbatim script with all the extraneous extras removed, making it easy to read.

    Detailed Notes The interview is reduced to a selection of detailed notes which give you quick and easy access to the information you need without having to parse large slabs of text.

    What Is Interview Transcription


    In simple terms, it is the process of converting an audio or video interview into text.

    Why is it beneficial? It is much easier to find what youre looking for in a block of text compared to recorded audio or video.

    Especially if your interview is long.

    Whether you are a:

    Interview transcription can benefit you in many ways.

    It has long been the standard and most common data management strategy in qualitative research.

    Furthermore, it is widely considered to be one of the best tools for analysis and interpretation of data.

    Interviews are being used increasingly as a tool for collecting information for various purposes such as health issues, education, social issues etc.

    Interview transcripts can also be used as a source for subtitles, or to use on your website for SEO benefits.

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    How To Record Interviews For Best Results

    With social distancing rules in place , the above picture is probably a true representation of how you will be recording interviews in 2020.

    Lets be honest, if youve recorded your interview with tons of background noise or other disturbances, it will make interview transcription that much more difficult.

    Below are a couple of reasons why:

    • You will spend more time and effort transcribing bad quality audio.
    • If you hire a freelance transcriber, they may make mistakes which youll have to correct later.
    • A transcription services company may charge you extra for difficult audio.
    • Difficult audio can lead to inaccuracies in data, which will affect your outcome.
    • You may have to waste time recording the interview again if its really bad.

    To avoid the above from happening, weve created a couple of helpful, in-depth guides like:

    If you cant be bothered to read all of those guides, below are some brief steps:

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