Many interviews work well using just audio or video, but including a transcript or caption with the audio or video is becoming increasingly useful. People often prefer to read what was said, and having a transcript also makes it much easier to follow the audio or the video and go back to any point of interest. Transcripts or captions of a video are also very important for search engine optimization and help spread awareness of the audio or video for marketing purposes.

The trouble with transcribing an interview is that it can be challenging as it takes a lot of time. Be aware, if your interview is around 1 hour long, then it may take as much as 6 hours to transcribe and write up. If you choose to transcribe the interview yourself then the following tips should help ensure your interview is transcribed properly.

Play a small section of audio at a time

Type short clips at a time. The worst thing that you can do is to try and listen to the entire interview and transcribe as you go or type only a few words at once. The best thing to do is to play a small section of up to 15 seconds and transcribe it as you go for that length. Type as you hear the words but have a little context of what is coming. If you need to stop,  repeat and re-listen that’s fine. It will be much easier to do it this way than to try to take in too much or too little of the recording at once.

Listen to a paragraph or sentence as a whole

Remember that the context of what is being said is important. In many cases, you will encounter some moments in the recording where there is mumbling or unclear verbiage. It’s important to listen to the entire sentence or paragraph and try to work out what words they are trying to say. This should make a lot more sense than trying to figure out one singular word each time. 

Write a draft, then listen again

Once you have completed your transcript of the interview listen to the recording again. Read through what you have written as you listen, as this will help you to make sure that you know that your draft is as accurate as possible.

Edit it afterwards

Once you have checked your draft, you need to edit the text. The first stage is to spell out any abbreviations that you included to save time. Also, correct any unnecessary punctuation. You should also make sure that the grammar is correct so that your transcript is readable.

Another tip here is that while it might be a good idea to make your interview as accurate as possible, don’t include every single word, especially verbal tics. Verbal tics include statements such as “I mean” and “you know”. These don’t really add value to the text and removing them won’t impact on the overall meaning of the text.

Summing It Up

These are just the basics to think about when transcribing an interview, hopefully, the more that you do it, then the easier it will become.

Your other option is to choose a professional and reputable transcription service that can ensure your interview is properly transcribed. We can recommend Way With Words for more complex or group interview recordings or Nibity for simpler one-on-one interviews.

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