How to Record Interviews for Transcription

Whether you are a blogger, a podcaster, a company or a journalist, a writer or even a student doing research we all at one point of time are required to interview an individual or an expert in our fields. Our intent may differ.

We may interview a person seeking for some specific information that person knows about. You may interview an expert to learn more about your market or niche and to get yourself some “visibility”. You also interview individuals to be interesting and be viewed as an expert in your industry.

However, without good guidance on recording an interview, the interview itself may be rendered useless if the recording cannot be used in any way.

transcriber womanBelow are our tips on recording and conducting interviews.

1. Be prepared for the interview: Come prepared for the interview. Check sound and recording quality before actually interviewing and recording. Do a thorough research on the background of your subject, be that an individual or a topic. Speak naturally and pace yourself. Remember, as an interviewer you set the tone and pace for the interview.
2. Invest in some good recorder: Buy a decent audio recorder. These days most smart phones have some sort of recorder in them. Perhaps by installing an app you can make recording interviews an easy task.
3. Invest in a noise-cancelling mic: Buy a good quality noise-cancelling mic. Do not talk too close or too far to the mic.
4. Avoid noisy places: The best place to record an interview may be a professional recording studio. However, most people don’t have recording studios in their basement. The second best place is a quiet room. Avoid rooms where other people might walk in any second or public places. Turn off fans, air conditioners, TV or radio and even a computer.
5. Do not crosstalk! Wait till your respondent finishes answering your questions. Do not interrupt him while he is explaining or elaborating or making a point. You may even get excellent quotes if you give him the space to express freely!
6. Avoid multitasking: Avoid doing anything else while recording an interview. Concentrate on the person you’re talking to. Do not type on your phone or laptop. Do switch off your phone and stop checking your emails.
7. Edit the audio or video, if you can. Once the interview is over, try and edit your interview audios using softwares like Audacity. If you cannot do it yourself, consult someone with experience in recording studios or with podcasting. They can be a wealth of information on recording.

Why is it important to go to that extent to get a good recording out of my interviews?

Now, you may be asking the above question. The simple answer is good recordings are a pleasure to listen to.  From transcription perspective though there are some bonus reasons.

When you record good quality interviews for transcriptions:
• It is easy to transcribe – no brainer.
• It takes less time to transcribe and therefore you get your interview transcripts quicker.
• It cost you less money.

Interview transcription companies usually charge more if:
• there is background/ambient noise in your recordings
• you have more than one respondents
• you require time code every certain interval of time
• you require identifying each speaker
• you require verbatim transcription as opposed to clean read
• you require quicker turnaround time than normal

Hence, the need to record quality interviews for transcription – to save time, money and effort. Also, to get better bang for your buck.

As transcribers we’ve come across lots of people (students, researchers, investigators, surveyors, solicitors, etc) who sometimes have to record outdoors, in noisy restaurants and parks. These are NOT the best places to conduct your interviews. However, if you must then try reducing the ambient noise level when recording your interview.

The Ideal Place to Conduct and Record Interviews

The ideal place to conduct and record interviews is inside a professional recording studio. However for the purpose of an interview recording being transcribed a quiet room is more than enough.

Types of Interview Transcription

We transcribe different types of interviews by different groups of people in different industries. The types of interviews we transcribe are:

  • Podcast interview transcription – where a podcaster interviews another person on his podcast
  • Research interview transcription – where a student interviews a source as part of his research for PhD thesis or a journalist of writer researching a story
  • Expert interview transcription – where an expert in any industry or on a subject is interviewed
  • Talk Show transcription – a radio or TV talk show where a celeb is being interviewed by the show host

Business Reasons for interview transcription

  • You need to get your interviews transcribed so you can publish the interview online and/or offline.
  • Getting your interviews transcribed also allows for you to easily quote your source or expert resource.
  • Another thing is that your interviews can be part of a book and be sold.
  • Transcripts of interviews are a great SEO for your blog or website. They can become a source of income and inspiration. You just need a good strategy on how you plan to utilize your interview recordings.

Best apps for the Mobile Interviewers

Some of the best audio recording iPhone apps are as below:
• SpeakEasy by Zarboo Software
• Audio Recorder by Peerium
• Note2Self by Web Information Solutions
• Recorder by Retronyms
• iTalk Recorder by Griffin Technology

Some of the best audio recording android apps are as below: Please note that android’s default voice recorder is good enough for most people.
• Tape-a-talk Voice Recorder
• netMemo Voice Recorder
• Voice Recorder from Identity, Inc

How to contact us for interview transcription

Contact us via the Contact page. Alternatively, fill up the Quotation form to get a quote for your interview transcription requirements.

We are a reliable interview transcription provider. We are experts in transcribing interviews. We guarantee you’ll get the best transcription services from us. Check out what our clients and customers say about us.

Interview Transcription Rate

Our interview transcription rate is affordable and we also provide options for time coding and choice of transcription style – verbatim, clean read and intelligent verbatim. Interview transcription rate at TranscriptionPro begins at just $1.25 for good recordings of up to two speakers and with standard turnaround (3 days).

Your Turn
Why do you record interviews? What are your favorite recording apps and gadgets? Do you get your interviews transcribed and why?

About the Author: Carey Suante is a writer and entrepreneur. He is also a transcriber who has been transcribing for over 10 years. He loves social media and started TranscriptionPRO Services after years of experience in blogging and internet marketing. He can help you in typing and transcribing your interview recordings today. Contact him now! Get a no-obligation Transcription Quotation today for all your typing and transcription requirements. 

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