Interview Transcription – Planning the Perfect Interview

February 25, 2014 Samantha

Here at Transcription City, we regularly transcribe interviews covering a vast range of industries and sectors. No matter what you topic of discussion is, conducting a well-structured interview that is clearly recorded is not always as straight forward as you might think. With that in mind, we’ve come up with our top 5 tips on how to record an interview for transcription.

Interview Transcription

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Planning your Interview Questions

Planning your interview questions in advance will ensure that you get the information you need from your interviewee and will help you to avoid a meandering conversation that wanders off topic. A structured interview, with a variety of numbered questions, will help you to think on your feet and concentrate on how to get the most from your interviewee rather than getting stuck with awkward silences, while you try to remember what you wanted to ask.

Schedule Adequate Time for your Interview

Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day, but if you are conducting a high profile or important interview, it is really worth waiting until all parties involved have sufficient time to spend on a high quality discussion, rather than a rushed interview, that doesn’t even manage to scratch the surface.

Use Adequate Recording Equipment for your Interview

Without the proper recording equipment, important information from your interview can be lost forever. Having an accurate transcription of your interviews means that you have a record of every word spoken, so don’t lose a shred of important information. However, badly recorded interviews can be impossible to transcribe without inaudibles, meaning that your transcripts are incomplete. As a general rule, you need at least one microphone between two speakers and although iPhones and smartphones are capable for recording one to one interviews in quiet locations, they are not suitable for multiple speaker interviews.

Minimise Background Noise and Distractions

The hustle and bustle of life is around us at all times to the point that we hardly even notice, but this can cause significant problems if you are recording an interview for transcription. If you are new to recording interviews for transcription, it can be easy to forget that a great interview, recorded in a coffee shop can sound like mp3 hell to a transcriptionist, as that seemingly innocent cup of coffee, clangs and bangs about in the background, intertwined with slurps, coughs and background chatter, making the original dialogue almost impossible to decipher.

Research and Planning your Interview

A great interview needs adequate research and planning, take the time to find out any relevant background information regarding your interviewee and the subject matter you’ll be discussing. Not only will this help you plan the best line up of questions, but it will also make for a more interesting interview as you will have the knowledge needed to challenge and entertain your interviewee as well as make for a great interview transcript in the process.

If you are interested in our interview transcription services or would like more information about our typing services or virtual assistance, why not get in touch? We are available via telephone, email and instant message and are always happy to help!



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