Interview Transcription â€“ Getting the Most from your Audio and Video Transcription Services
If you are in the process of conducting interviews for transcription, it is a good idea to plan ahead. With the correct planning and organisation, you can ensure that you not only get the information that you need from your interviews, but also additional information and ideas from your interview participants, while cutting out the mindless waffle!
Plan your Interview Session
Ever heard of the term “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”? When it comes to interviews, this couldn’t be more true. When you think about it, most interviews last around 30 minutes to an hour and if you want to get the right information from your respondent or respondents (if it’s a group interview) then you need to have a good solid base of questions. We recommend asking the most important questions first and then as the interview progresses and you have the information you need, moving on to the not so important ones.
Depending on the type of interview you are conducting and the type of information you are trying to collect, it is also worth looking at whether you are asking the right types of questions. For instance, if you are doing an in-depth interview with a famous celebrity or member of Parliament for an article you are writing for publication, it is probably a good idea to ask what are called, â€˜open questions’. Open questions are questions that need more than a “Yes” or “No” in order to be answered politely. An example of this would be something like “Could you tell me about the place you grew up?”
However if you are conduction your interviews with the purpose of filling in a questionnaire or collecting large amounts of data, closed questions would be the way to go. For instance “Did you grow up in London?”
Planning your interview questions correctly is the best way to ensure that your interview goes well in terms of getting the answers and information that you need.
Avoid Interjection and Over Speaking Where Possible
Once you have planned you questions properly and are happy with them, it is time to think about the practicalities of actually conducting your interviews. Even with the best questions and most useful answers, if your respondent can’t be heard, then your interview will be a waste of time.
Whether you are conducting a group interview with lots of speakers or a one to one interview, it is absolutely imperative that you don’t either talk over your respondents when they are answering a question. This can often because the interviewer is excited about what the respondent is saying in a one to one interviewer. If it’s a group interview, letting the participants talk over each other or worse, talk amongst themselves in the background, can mean that the audio quality of your interviews is compromised and made very difficult to transcribe. This can result in chunks of dialogue that are inaudible and therefore lost.
Following these two important guidelines will ensure that you get the most from you interviews and your interview transcription.