How to Transcribe Interviews Correctly

Transcribing interviews always starts with making a decent recording of the sound in question. Sure this might seem like a completely obvious case, but it isn’t always thought about all that much by those in the business. In the modern era people often just set down a cellular phone and start recording. Remember to always pay attention to ensure that the device is actually taking down the sound. Its never fun to get back to the office and realize the interview wasn’t taped. Job candidates usually can’t be brought back in for a second time.

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How to Transcribe an Interview: Actual Interviewing Process

Transcribing Interviews

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Naturally most people have settled into the method of interviewing candidates that they prefer. Those who haven’t might want to have a look at the sheet that they use to ask questions from. Make sure that all of the questions are pertinent and clearly worded. Before taking down the recorded words and such its important to ensure that what’s being recorded is worth it. Ask questions that will get decent answers out of the people being asked them. This might also end up making people speak more clearly. While this sounds like an unusual criteria for a question, it actually genuinely helps out when it comes time to transcribe the speech to written text.

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While working on figuring out how to transcribe interviews, it’s also probably a pretty good idea to make the area comfortable for recording. Ensure that people are able to sit in such a fashion that the device will make a good recording of the interview. It’s a common courtesy to let the other person know that they’re interview questions are actually being recorded. For that matter, at times some regulation or another might require this. Inspect these to ensure compliance whenever necessary.

Interview Transcription: Taking Dictations Down

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When working to transcribe interviews, a page out of the medical field’s playbook could be useful. Once a piece of software had made the recording, dictations can be transferred over the Internet using an email file transfer or an FTP service. At times the FTP system can be more secure, but email is usually much less troublesome and doesn’t actually require any sort of special equipment in order to work with. These can be sent quickly to a professional transcriptionist, if one is being worked with, or even to a private host computer if one so chooses.

If a professional group of digital transcription services are being used, as is often advisable, the text is generally transferred into a DOC or RTF file and then sent back to the person who conducted the interview. The work could be done later if it were sent to a private computer naturally.

A Word about Phone Calls in Transcribing Interviews

How to transcribe interviews

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People always have a hard time figuring out how to transcribe an interview done over the phone. There are a few different ways to do this. Sometimes tape recorders are still used when transcribing interviews that involve a telephone, but this isn’t always the case. These can be useful, though, especially since they make an analog recording that seldom fails in the traditional sense. There have been a number of tape recorder devices that work inline with a landline telephone sold over the years.

Likewise it’s possible to connect a software recording system to a landline hookup and make a recording in that way. This provides a good way of doing things in an office environment, and lets people make a decent WAV or MP3 file right on their computer. Naturally there are apps, which automatically do this, so those who are conducting interviews through their mobile devices won’t have to worry as much. Fortunately those working with standard line equipment can sometimes run a stereo out jack right to their computer.

How to Transcribe Interviews

Perhaps the most important step in learning how to transcribe interviews, outside of the technical details, is learning to keep up with the rate at which people speak. Most people don’t speak too fast, but there will be times when it’s hard to make things out. At times it might be tempting to use speech-to-text software, but this is usually ill advised, as it’s more accurate to work with more business transcription services traditional means.

That being said, those who are having trouble shouldn’t feel too bad if they have to go back several times and keep going over things. Those who work in the medical billing and transcription industry actually have a machine they use to rewind and fast forward tapes over and over again in order to ensure that they have gotten everything down right. If a word seems unusual, mark it as such in the transcript then go back later and try to get it then.

Some Basic Interview Transcription Tips

Those who are just starting to transcribe interviews might want to keep the following in mind:

  • Make sure the equipment is always in good repair
  • Make sure to be comfortably seated before beginning the work
  • Keep the room nice and quiet
  • Adjust the playback speed if people are speaking too quickly
  • Leave blanks instead of guesses if there are gaps in the transcript
  • Learn some keyboard shortcuts to keep fingers on the keyboard during the transcription process
  • Always remember that shift+arrow keys block text, CTRL+C copies, CTRL+X cuts and CTRL+V pastes

Working with the Verbatim Interview Transcription Service

Those who need to use dictation very often in this manner will certainly want to work with outside interview transcription services to help them out. These organizations are ready to aid those who might otherwise struggle with the entire process. Our group was founded in order to assist anyone who might be extremely crunched for time.

Recording an interview and sending it to our professional transcriptionists will certainly save a great deal of time!