Why You Need to Start Transcribing Interviews
Recorded interviews provide a medium for which an interviewer or a third party can review the conversation. For this reason, most people do not see the need for transcribing the audio/video interviews to text until they realise the advantages.
From an organisation’s perspective, transcribing interviews consumes time. If you don’t transcribe in-house, it costs money to outsource the transcription service. Unfortunately, they fail to see beyond these two factors. Realise an interview transcript can provide extra benefits that are worth than the time and money spent.
Still not convinced? Well, this article is for you. We list six great reasons why you should start transcribing your interviews.
6 Reasons To Transcribe Your Interviews
Want to learn why? Keep reading.
Reason #1. Saves You Time
The primary reason people record an interview is to have a form of reference they can go through later. When going through a video or audio recording, it can get tricky to find an important point you need.
Imagine spending hours in forwarding and rewinding and recording to find what you want. Remember, some interviews can last for hours. The longer an interview is, the more time you will spend skimming through it.
With an interview transcript, it is the exact opposite.
Think of a transcript as a book. Between a video/audio record and a book, which is the easiest to skim through or navigate? For the average person, skimming through a book is more comfortable than a recording.
If you do not believe this as a truth, pick up a book and an audiobook of the same book. Try and find your favourite chapter on both and see if you don’t find it on the book much faster.
Hence, if time is of the essence, a transcript of the interview will save the most time.
Reason #2. Meets Legal Compliance Requirements
According to the Equality Act (2010) (UK) or Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (USA), disabled persons have equal rights to everyone. Hence, it is discriminatory to deny a deaf person any opportunity in your organisation because of their disability.
Clearly, a deaf person cannot conduct an oral interview effectively. However, they are capable of performing after interview activities such as analysis. Persons with hearing disabilities can read and hence they can use interview transcripts.
In the last ten years, there have been many cases where organisations were sued for failing to follow the Equality Act.
Reason #3. Ensures Accurate Translation
The interview often gets conducted and recorded in one language. Nonetheless, the discussions may need to get translated into other foreign languages. Most people opt to do a voice-over recording of the interview as a translation. Unfortunately, a voice-over has two audio tracks. Hence, it lacks clarity and can get distracting for the audience.
The best way to translate an interview is first to create an interview transcript. Then a language expert gets to translate the transcript into the preferred language. The translation is then given to the person who will do the voice over.
If you need to translate your interviews to foreign languages; transcription is your best bet for a thorough job.
Reason #4. Helps Improve Interview Techniques
While listening or watching an interview, some negative interview habits can get ignored. For example, an interviewer can use phrases like “I understand what you are saying” and “Is that right?” to interject the interviewee.
In the above case, cutting off the interviewee causes them to lose track of their train of thought. Subsequently, the interviewee is unable to deliver their point with conviction.
Reading through an interview transcript also reveals if the interviewer’s mode of asking questions is concise. If there are many instances where the interviewee responds with “Please repeat the question” or “Pardon me, come again!”. Then the questions are not clear enough. Hence, the interviewer needs to restructure their questions to be more straightforward for the interviews to run much smoother.
Transcribing an interview provides an avenue for self-analysis. For reporters and researchers, analysing interview techniques helps in improving the quality of interviews they conduct as well as the information they get from interviewees.
Reason #5. Guarantees Accurate Records
The human brain is programmed to make verbal connections based on context. This is the reason why many people mistake song lyrics when listening to music. The brain makes an assumption of what you cannot hear accurately.
The same effect applies to video/audio recordings of interviews. If an interviewer can neither hear nor recall a phrase/word from they will subconsciously make an assumption. Assumption can become problematic especially if you quote a prominent interviewee out of context.
Unfortunately, manual transcription is also prone to this effect. In fact, it is one of the key reasons many news and research organisations adopt professional transcription services.
Professional transcription services utilise experienced transcribers and state of the art software to transcribe audio/video interviews into text. Unlike pure machine transcription that produces transcripts using automatic speech recognition (ASR), transcribers with the use of software that is capable of eliminating noise from the recording, ensure transcription is highly accurate. Hence, there are no misquotations in the interview transcript.
Reason #6. Improves Data Analysis
When businesses, such as marketing companies, conduct interviews for quantitative business analysis, the data collected usually has to get scrutinised by numerous departments. For prompt, confidential and secure distribution of the data to individual parties, a transcription of the interview is the best option.
If you have to scrutinise the data as a group, such as a focus group, it can get messy to deliberate over a single recording. If each person receives a copy of the interview transcript, they can mark out their points of interest. When it’s time to deliberate, each person can direct the others on the pages of the transcripts they want to discuss.
Why You Need to Start Transcribing Interviews
From the above points, it is evident that transcribing interviews is beneficial for any organisation.
Interviews are meant to provide a systematic method of discovering the truth via a series of queries. If the data collected from interviews do not get transcribed, there is a chance it will not be as useful as it should to the end-user.
Hence, if you do not have a transcribing service at your disposal, it is high time to choose a professional transcription service.
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