If you’ve ever had to transcribe one of your interviews, you know how time-consuming the process can be. Between poor audio quality or trying to decipher between speakers, many things can get in the way of a great transcription. So, if you’re wondering how to transcribe an interview a little more easily, you’re not alone.
There are a few simple steps you can follow to make your transcription less overwhelming. Here’s what the professional transcribers have to say about creating a process that works for you.
How to Transcribe an Interview
Interview transcription is unique to every individual. Eventually, you’ll find a way that works best for you, and if you can, you’ll rely on it. Here are four of the most common ways to transcribe an interview:
- Using a program to convert audio-to-text
- Outsourcing & Hiring a Freelancer
- Transcribing your interview manually
The option you choose has to do with your capacity, budget, the audio, and of course, how well you type. If you find yourself manually transcribing, don’t worry, we’ve got some extra tips.
If you’d prefer to use an audio-to-text transcription tool, there are several of them on the market.
Take a look at sites Ebby and DragonAnywhere, two of the top-rated apps that transcribers use. It’s important to keep in mind that audio-to-text apps are never 100% accurate. You’ll need to double-check your document and make your own edits, but it will save you time compared to a manual transcription.
Outsourcing & Freelancers
You can outsource via platforms like Upwork and Fiverr to find transcription freelancers. Many of them set a per minute or per word rate, while others will do the work for a flat fee. It’s typically easy to find someone within budget.
Just be sure to review resumes, profiles, and reviews to ensure you hire a transcriber that fits your needs.
Tips for Manual Transcription
Level of Detail
There are two types of transcriptions you can choose from.
Full verbatim means you’re writing every word of the audio recording down. This means they could be repeating the same thing, having an audience interaction, or pausing frequently. This can be somewhat time-consuming and not always necessary, depending on your project.
Verbatim focuses on making the cleanest and easiest to read transcription you can. This is typically the type of transcription people want when they hire someone to transcribe an interview.
You can help speed up your transcriptions by having the right tools to help you along. Having great headphones and a word processor are a great start. However, there are some great tools out there that will help you add in things like timestamps, speakers names, and other identifiers at the click of a button.
If you find yourself transcribing often, a transcription program or pedal may be worth the investment.
First Listen & Rought Draft
First, you should listen to the recording all the way through to give you a sense of what you’ll be writing. Once you’ve done that, you can start from the beginning and work on your first draft. For the first draft, allow yourself to move quickly.
Use Time Codes
Time codes are a stamp that look like: [hh:mm:ss unclear]. You can use these when you come across something you can’t understand to let the reader know you weren’t sure what was being said. This negates the need for you to spend a lot of time trying to understand a bad recording moment.
Clean Up Your Draft
Once you’ve gone through a rough draft, you need to get to the point where you can clean it up. Go through the recording a second time and fix any spelling, grammar, or transcription issues.
This is also a good time to do your proofreading. There’s a lot you can miss when you’re transcribing, and for yourself and whoever might be reading, it’s better if the transcription is crystal clear.
With your final draft complete, you’ll be shocked at how quickly these tips were able to get you through a transcription. Now that you know how to transcribe an interview, you can tackle any transcription fast and easy.