Interview Transcript

In the past, the interviewer had to write down what the interviewee said. However, it often posed challenges because it is difficult to keep up with the speed at which the interviewee responds. Besides, the interviewer may only write down what they feel is relevant which may lead to loss of important data. Now, it is possible to record voices on tape or digital recorders which make transcription easier. Read on to learn more about interview transcripts.

Common Questions about Interview Transcripts

An interview transcript is necessary because it makes work easier. It is easy to read a transcribed piece of work as opposed to picking your earphones every time you need to code something from the recorded interview.

Ideally, you should be able to show when different speakers talk as well as the time stamps. Each new idea is often written as a new paragraph. Since interviews are usually in a question and answer format, make sure to write each question asked as well as the answer given by the respondent. When transcribing, accuracy has to be maintained so that no data gets lost in the process.

An interview transcript requires attention to detail. As such, make sure that you have a conducive working environment. Also, invest in quality headsets and those that can minimise background noises. You can also use some software to help you transcribe. Most importantly, you need to practice on your typing speed and accuracy.

A lot of factors should be considered before deciding when to convert your recorded interview into an interview transcript. For instance, if you are on a tight budget, and you need to hire a professional transcriber, then you should do it earlier because the urgency determines the cost. Also, the number of audio hours you need to transcribe, and most importantly, the style of transcription you want which is often dictated by your area of study.

If you have time, you can transcribe your audio. However, if time is not on your side, you can choose to outsource your work. Before you decide on where to outsource, you have to ask the transcriber about the software they use or even about the safety of your data and personal information. Most legitimate transcribers do not use clients’ data to their benefit.

What is an interview transcript?

Transcribing an interview entails making a written form of the recorded audio or tape without affecting the accuracy of the content. Ideally, it is easier to read an interview transcript as opposed to listening to audio hence the reason why transcripts are preferred. Here are other uses of an interview transcript.


Individuals who use recorded data for research purposes like students or journalists find it easier to use an interview transcript as opposed to listening to audios. Imagine having to listen to hours and hours of recorded audio, it is a daunting task. You need to replay and pause multiple times before you get the information you require.

Reference and preservation of evidence

It is easier to keep an interview transcript for future reference. Courts and police stations often keep interview transcripts from recorded audios from suspects and witnesses. The transcripts are easier to retrieve whenever needed even years later. For the same reason, transcripts are required from students during interviews especially when defending their dissertations.

Data analysis and interpretation

It is easier to analyse data that has been transcribed as opposed to using recorded audios or videos. An analyst can easily go through a written document and deduce findings easily.

Easier follow up

An interview transcript is often used by court judges and employers to follow up on the responses given by the interviewees. In the case of employers, it enables them to select the best candidate based on their responses. In courts, the jury is able to determine whether a suspect is guilty or not depending on the information presented by the accuser and the witnesses.

Which people require an interview transcript?

An interview Transcript is necessary for journalists because they do a lot of interviews. It becomes easier for journalists to use transcripts for research because it is easier to code written information. Employers also use an interview transcript from a recorded audio during an interview. A student also submits the interview transcript when presenting their dissertations before the board of examiners.

Use Software for your Interview Transcript

Within the recent past, it has become easy to create interview transcripts due to the availability of different software. If you have previously transcribed an audio file into a written document, then you understand how tasking and time consuming it is. Automated software for interview transcripts is fast and reliable.

Most software uses different techniques to transcribe. Some use voice recognition and speech, while others work by expanding speech as you type. Use of software in transcription is crucial because it helps you infer even some of the most technical terms in different fields such as medicine, engineering or law.

There are different types of transcription software. Some are free while others are commercial and you have to pay for them. For some software, you need to use them while online. Others allow you to transcribe while offline. As such, it is paramount that you choose software that suits your transcription needs. Of course different software work different from each other. You, therefore, have to conduct thorough research to understand how each works as well as the pros and cons.

Benefits of using software for Interview Transcripts

There are many benefits to using software for your interview transcript as discussed here.

interview transcript time saving

Saves time

Imagine that you have audios recorded for one hour. How long would you take to transcribe them manually? Definitely, it would be time-consuming and also costly. A software transcribes using the shortest time in comparison to a manual interview transcript.

interview transcript high quality

High-quality interview transcript

Interviews have become the norm of collecting data mainly used for research. It is therefore crucial that the recorded data is transcribed in utmost accuracy and efficiency. Software is the best bet when it comes to the production of a high-quality interview transcript.

interview transcript stress free

Stress-free interview transcription

A manually transcribed interview transcript is stressful because the transcriber has to spend many hours trying to listen and understand the vocabulary. Besides, at the end of the work, the transcriber has to edit and use the right punctuation. Finally, proofreading is required to achieve a high-quality interview transcript. All these works can be tasking and may even take days or weeks to achieve the desired results.

The interview transcript for your thesis

A thesis is an academic paper that often contains a student’s original findings. As such, it is a requirement that scholars back up their theories and findings with evidence. The backing is often in the form of interviews or audio recordings. Students are required to present an interview transcript alongside their thesis document.

Basically, there is no set rule for doing an interview transcript. However, you have to maintain consistency and accuracy all through your transcript. As such, when identifying the speakers, you have to come up with a uniform way of identifying them. You may decide to write the real names of your interviewers. But, if the document is to be published, ensure that you make your respondents anonymous for the confidentiality of personal data.

Interviews involve a question and answer format. Hence, you should write down the name of the interviewer, place a colon before the question. The same case applies to the respondent. Here is an example.

Interviewer: what is your name?
Respondent: My name is John Doe.

You may also choose to find a way of differentiating between what the interviewer says from the responses given by the interviewee using italics or bold. The most crucial part of creating a quality interview transcript for your thesis is consistency and accuracy.

Interview transcript in a nutshell

An interview transcript is common in journalism, medicine, law, and even among students especially when submitting their thesis. An interview transcript should be accurate. Manual transcription can be hard. However, software are available some free, others commercial, some offline and others you need to use them while online. All the same, software gives an accurate interview transcript, saves time, and they are stress-free to use.

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