Transcription is defined as a written record of something that has been spoken. Interview transcription allows you to preserve the dialogue and details of a conversation for future reference. This task can be daunting for beginners; however, with some fundamental guidance and simple tricks, it can be easily mastered.
This guide will show you how to transcribe an interview from start to finish. Also, we’ll discuss various transcription processes in detail.
What is an Interview Transcription?
An interview transcription is a written record of an interview that can be done in real-time or by watching and listening to an audio or video recording later. The transcript will create a written record of the conversation, which can be helpful for later reference. Interview transcripts can also be used to create a text-based searchable database.
Interview transcription can be a valuable tool for anyone who conducts interviews regularly. If you want to improve your interview skills or create a written record of an important conversation, transcribing your interviews is a great solution.
The Benefits of Interview Transcription
An interview can be a perfect way to collect information to keep on file. However, what if you don’t have the time or resources to transcribe the interview yourself? Hiring a transcriptionist might be the answer.
There are many benefits of transcribing interviews.
- Good for keeping a record: For one, it allows you to go back and review the information later. This can be helpful when trying to remember something specific that was said during the conversation.
- Improves interview questions: Another benefit is that it can help you improve your interviewing skills. By reading through a transcript, you can see where you could have asked better questions or clarified specific points.
- It helps you share it: The transcript can also be shared with others on your team so they can see what was said and get a better sense of the interviewee’s thoughts and feelings.
- Keeping track becomes easy: You’ll be able to go back and review the interview as often as you want. This is especially helpful if you’re conducting multiple interviews and need to keep track of what each person says.
- Efficiently captures information: Overall, transcription can be a valuable tool for anyone who conducts interviews. It’s an efficient way to capture information that can be reviewed in the future.
Types of Interview Transcription Process
When it comes to the interview transcription process, there are four main types of services:
- Using speech-to-text converter software
- Transcribing manually
- Using a transcription company’s services
- Hiring a freelancer for the job
Let’s take a detailed look at these methods.
Using Automatic Transcription Software
Automatic transcription software is designed to transcribe spoken words into text, also known as voice recognition. Software can sometimes be a valuable tool for transcribing interviews, and you can start by uploading your high-quality audio or video file.
However, there’s a few things to remember when using automatic transcription options.
First, it’s essential to have a really good-quality recording. The clearer the recording, the easier it will be for the software to understand and transcribe accurately.
Second, when using the computer-generated transcription, you’ll need to edit the transcript afterward. This is because nothing is more accurate than human transcribers. That said, transcription software is better than trying to remember everything that was said.
In short, computer-generated transcription does not generate perfect results, and there will likely be a lot of errors. However, you can get a fairly clean and accurate interview transcript with extensive editing.
Transcribing manually has been a popular option; still, is it the best option? Let’s examine the pros and cons of the manual transcription process.
On the plus side, transcribing manually doesn’t require a wide range of special equipment or software. All you need is an audio player, pen, and paper (or a computer if you want to type the transcription). This makes it very accessible for people who don’t have a lot of money to invest in transcription tools. See which transcription equipment you need in our detailed guide here.
It’s also relatively easy to learn how to transcribe manually. The main challenge is trying to write fast enough to keep up with the audio, so with a lot of practice, most people can get pretty good at it.
On the downside, manual transcription process can be very slow and tedious.
Using a Transcription Company
If you’re considering using a transcription company to transcribe your interviews, you may wonder if it’s worth it. We say it is.
Transcription companies offer various services, including transcriptions of interviews, lectures, and speeches. While some agencies specialize in one type of transcription, others offer a more general transcription service. When choosing a transcription agency, it’s essential to consider your needs and budget.
When transcribing for US government agencies, law enforcement, or those in medicine, there is no room for error. For the best results, you’ll need an interview transcription service with experience with the terms and slang used in each industry. Also, an experienced US-based transcriptionist won’t have to take too much time researching what is being discussed in the audio because they are native English speakers. Their background will not only give you a 99% accurate transcript, they will also do so promptly.
When looking for 99% accuracy, you are better off using a transcription company based in the US, knowing your personal and confidential information is in secure hands.
Hiring a Freelancer for the Job
There are many reasons you might need transcription services. Perhaps you’re researching a book or article and need to transcribe the interviews you conducted. You might be a Ph.D. candidate and need academic transcription services. Maybe you’re starting a podcast and need someone to transcribe your episodes or even learn how to transcribe a podcast yourself. Or maybe you want to have a written record of an important meeting.
There are many ways to get these services, and hiring a freelancer to get interview transcription services done is one of them. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of using freelancer services for transcription.
- Freelancers are usually cheaper than transcription agencies.
- You can often find a freelancer specializing in the kind of transcription you need (e.g., medical, legal, etc.).
- Freelancers can be more flexible than agencies (e.g., you can send a high-quality audio file on a Saturday night and still have it transcribed by Sunday morning).
- You can save time by having your audio file transcribed by someone with experience.
- Finding a good freelancer is like finding a good mechanic: it’s not easy
- Freelancers may not know how to handle special formats such as tables, timestamps, and SRT files, etc.
- If you are not happy with the transcription, you may have to repeat the process (find a new freelancer)
- It can be challenging to communicate with your freelancer, especially if you don’t share a common language
Ultimately, if you need a high degree of accuracy, we recommend going with a company like Ditto Transcripts which uses US-Based transcribers. However, thanks to the complexities of interview transcription, it might cost more and take longer to complete the job upfront. In the long run, you will save though because you will have a 99% accurate transcript and will not need to do any editing yourself.
The most important thing to look for in a transcription service is accuracy. Read online reviews and compare pricing before making your final transcription decision.
How To Transcribe An Interview Transcript?
If you’re new to transcription, transcribing an interview can seem daunting. However, it can be easy to produce an accurate interview transcript with a bit of practice.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Listen to the recording at least once before transcribing. This will help you familiarize yourself with the recording and pick up on tricky words, phrases, or false starts.
- Use a good-quality transcription machine. There are many different options available, so find one that suits your needs and budget.
- Now type out the transcript as you listen to the recording. Don’t try to make every edit as you go – focus on getting as much as possible down accurately without going too slow.
- Once you’ve finished transcribing, proofread your work for errors. Then, make any necessary corrections. Voila! Your interview transcript is ready!
Skills You Need To Transcribe Interviews
Excellent listening skills, the ability to type quickly, and great attention to detail are all necessary to be a great transcriptionist. As an interview transcriber, hopefully, you will have high-quality audio files of interviews to work with and type out what is being said word-for-word if you can.
The job of an interview transcriber is not always easy. You must understand different accents and speaking styles and decipher unclear or muffled words. Sometimes, you may also encounter poor audio quality, which can be trouble producing accurate transcriptions. With practice, you can get better at transcribing and produce accurate transcripts of interviews in probably a week or two.
So, if you are interested in becoming an interview transcriber, you can do a few things to improve your skills. First, practice typing quickly and accurately, as your typing speed matters. Then, try transcribing short audio files of interviews or conversations. You can download virtually any audio file from the internet and learn the skills with practice.
The Different Types of Interview Transcription
There are different types of completed transcripts you can choose from.
The second most common type of a completed transcription is verbatim transcription, which includes everything said during the interview, including filler words like “um” and “ah.” This type of transcription is excellent for use in the legal field or research purposes. However, it can be tedious to read.
Another type of transcription is non-verbatim (edited) transcription, which leaves out the filler words and nonverbal sounds. This type is cleaner and easier to read. Nevertheless, you could lose some of the contexts of the conversation with non-verbatim transcription.
Intelligent Verbatim Transcription
Intelligent verbatim transcription is a type of transcription that captures the essence of what was said while still maintaining the speaker’s original intent. We also sometimes call it cleaned up verbatim. It requires a deep understanding of the subject matter as this type of transcription edits out distracting fillers and repetitions from the transcript. These cleaned-up verbatim transcripts are helpful for interviews that will be used for research purposes.
To create a cleaned-up verbatim transcript, the transcriber must deeply understand the subject matter being discussed. They must also be able to identify when something was said with intention and when it was said off the cuff. This can be a challenge. However, it’s certainly possible with practice.
The benefits of using intelligent verbatim transcription are that it can capture the real context of an interview while still being easy to read and understand. This makes it an ideal choice for research purposes.
Intelligent verbatim transcriptions are helpful for those who want to review a conversation quickly or those who need to transcribe a file for legal, medical, or business purposes that won’t be needed for court.
To Sum It Up
As you can see, conducting an interview and transcribing it correctly using audio recordings is not as simple as it might initially seem. No matter what transcription method you decide to use, you should be able to get or produce readable and accurate transcripts.
Why Ditto Transcripts Is Right For You
Our highly trained, U.S.-based human transcriptionists are adept at handling any quality audio. With our 12+ years of experience being a full-service transcription company, you will get back completed transcripts with 99% accuracy rates guaranteed or your money back. You’ll have plenty of information to share in your newsletter, blog article, or social media post if that is how you will use your completed transcripts.
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Ditto Transcripts handles anything to everything to ensure accurate, affordable documents for all of your projects with a fast turnaround time. Learn more by connecting with us at (720) 287-3710.