Tips for Interview Transcription

There must be few main things done for a great interview. You should come up with relevant questions and some research done before your interview. Of course, these tasks are not easy to do, but there is one even harder. Also, your work depends on the subject of the interview. Sometimes you need to do a really tricky research work before the interview. And sometimes it can flow in a simple dialog format.

There are few main steps to make your transcription just perfect.

Step 1:

What recorder do you use? If it is a cassette recorder, you should use a floor pedal to stop and restart recorder when it is needed. If it is a digital recorder, try to do “pause” moves more simple to make the transcribe interview process easier and faster.

Step 2:

You should start taping as soon as your interview tape starts. Of course, you can’t type or write text as fast as people speak. But you must try to write everything properly with no shortens, so it is easy for you to read it later. Try different techniques of typing and writing and use one that is best for you. Try to do as clean transcript as you can. The cleaner it is, the less editing you’ll have to do.

Step 3:

It is possible there will be some passages difficult to decipher. You should listen to it twice. But you should pass it if it is still unclear after two listening. Do the note about time code and go back to it later.

Step 4:

No tales! No lies! You should transcribe the interview strictly as you hear it. Be honest and focused.

Step 5:

It will be easier for you to do the speakers’ names abbreviations. You should abbreviate names to the first or even to the first two initials. Don’t forget about a colon following after the initials.

Step 6:

You should do the block paragraph typing format. Insert space every time when the speaker changes.

Step 7:

So, you have finished typing your draft. But, it is not the end yet! It is just an initial draft. You should listen to the tape again. While listening read what you’ve written. Does it match exactly? If it is not, you should do the corrections.

Step 8:

Do you remember about some problem areas? It is time to return to those passages (if they were not fixed during the second play of the record). If the answer is still difficult to decipher think if it is really important for your work. If it is not, forget about it. If it is an important answer, you should contact the speaker to verify the information.

Step 9:

So, now it is time to edit your text. You should spell out abbreviations and clean up punctuation properly. Don’t forget about such pause fillers as “um,” “uh” and “like”. These words aren’t the main message of the interview, but you should leave them if it is necessary to show the mood, for example.

Step 10:

You should insert some extra paragraph breaks where necessary. Do the spelling check again before the publication.