Do you know a person who works in journalism? Or a researcher? Someone who works in print media? Then taking an interview is a crucial part of their job. In previous times, journalists have to manually note down the speeches, more importantly the keywords, of the person with whom they are conducting an interview the same time they talk with them. It hasn’t been an easy task to preserve the accuracy of data for there exist good chances of committing mistakes resulting to changes on the actual noted version by the interviewer in comparison to what the interviewee is trying to say. Accuracy may be unreliable. This will be worrying to the objectives of doing a job well done. Nowadays, it has become easier for interviewers to capture full data as you can comfortably record the interview using a tape or digital recorder and be able to review the entire conversation.
The process of writing down into transcript form from tape or digital recording an interview session is known as interview transcription. As an interview transcriptionist, you have to listen and understand the words carefully to document the content as appropriate. To know more about interview transcription, let us look into the following details below.
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Definition of Interview Transcription
In simple terms, interview transcription means making a written transcript of a recorded interview without compromising accuracy as preferred. Any type of interview may involve a wide range of interviewee that may include celebrities to business tycoons as well as legal case interviews.
It is very effectual to find the desired information at a glance in written form compared to an audio where you need to play and replay the tape or recording repeatedly to get what you’re looking for. Moreover, interview transcription will make it possible to deal with the crucial need of pointing out vital sections of an interview.
Basic Guidelines in Transcribing an Interview
• When playing the recorded audio file, be alert in pressing the ‘play’ and ‘pause’ buttons of the player while working. For digital audios, you can get a transcription software that can help make things easier and comfortable in working on the files.
• Having the audio file playing, you can immediately start with the transcription. It is obviously not possible to continuously follow the pace of the speaker in a single play, so you may pause or rewind the audio anytime you felt left behind. The more careful you transcribe, the less time it will take to work on editing and proofreading.
• If there is something that you can’t figure out, listen to it more than once. However, if you still have problems identifying the word or phrase, it’s advised not to waste a huge amount of time figuring it out. Simply note down a time stamp so you can get back to it later.
• The main goal is to transcribe accurately what has been said. So, if the interviewee used terms like ‘I’ll’, ‘you’d’, then better have it that way according to documentation preferences.
• You may put the initials of the speaker’s name with a colon before each of their speeches as necessary.
• As soon as you change from one speaker to another, leave a space to make the speeches more structured and readable. This will also make work on editing much easier.
• After the work is done, listen to the full recording carefully and compare your transcript. Make corrections as necessary.
• If there will be anything you can’t figure out even with repeated listening, you may contact and ask the person for verification.
• Never insert any fillers like ‘um’, ‘aw’, ‘er’ etc unless instructed otherwise. Be sure to always check for spelling mistakes.
Now that we’ve given a simple detailed definition, it should have certainly given you an idea about the work involved in interview transcription. You’ll actually learn more when experienced it yourself.
As the person conducting the interview, one must be equipped with certain set of fundamental skills. The interviewer must be a good listener. He must also have the ability to pacify the interviewee if he/she gets excited on his actions. He must be careful in making the interview an interesting discussion with the interviewee and for the readers. The interview transcriptionist therefore should also carry on with preserving the thoughts of the entire discussion.
The interviewer may want to do the transcription himself. This makes good listening skills another beneficial capacity. However, he must also display excellent typing and editing skills. And yes, patience is a must.