Why You Should Transcribe Your Interviews: Guide to Transcribe Interviews

Transcribing interviews is one of the most efficient ways to capture important information. Instead of relying on your memory or scattered notes or sitting down to rewatch videos repeatedly, a transcript allows you to get everything said during the conversation into a Word or Google doc, with some added perks like accessibility and ease of storage. 

The interview transcript can then be used to identify areas of improvement, share relevant insights with colleagues, keep accurate records of multiple interviews, and repeatedly reference what was said long after the initial meeting.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • The easiest way to transcribe an interview is to manually record and transcribe it by listening to the interview recording and typing out everything said. Though it takes time, you can transcribe the interview without relying on software.
  • Manually transcribing an interview gives you full control over the accuracy of the transcription, whereas interview transcription software will produce errors that require extensive human editing.
  • Choosing a transcription service with accuracy guarantees, fast turnaround times, transparent pricing, and extensive expertise is always the best choice. 

Types of Transcription For Interviews

There are several methods by which interviews can be transcribed. This mostly depends on the interviewer’s needs and whether they require unabridged information or the CliffsNotes version.

Types of TranscriptionDescriptionApplicability 
Verbatim TranscriptionRecord every spoken word and sound exactly, including pauses.Verbatim transcripts are used when speech mannerisms are crucial, like in qualitative research interviews.
Intelligent Verbatim TranscriptionOmits filler words and non-verbal cues and retains meaning.Ideal for standard interviews focusing on content, like journalism.
SummaryProvides a brief overview of key points.Suitable for capturing main ideas in executive summaries or reports.
Time-CodedIncludes timestamps for synchronization.Useful for video/audio interviews requiring footage alignment.
Non-VerbatimCaptures essence and may be paraphrased.Good for informal interviews or public dissemination.
TechnicalAccurate transcription of field-specific terminology.Essential for specialized interviews with technical jargon.

How to Transcribe an Audio or Video Interview

Transcribing interviews, in the simplest terms, essentially boils down to listening and typing skills (but there are surprising challenges along the way—more on that later). Here is how to do it in 4 steps:

1. The easiest way to get familiarized with the recording is to listen to the interview before you start transcribing. That way, you’ll quickly pick up every word or phrase and easily spot false starts. This step is essential, so it would be best to remember it.

2. As much as possible, use a high-quality transcription machine; if not, at least a good-quality one that fits your budget and needs. There’s a lot of it in the market; make sure you set aside some spare time to do the necessary research.

3. The third step is to start the transcription process. Listen to the recording and type out everything as accurately as possible. It’s not perfect at first, so try not to make edits in real-time, as it will slow you down; focus on typing it out; you can fix the errors later. A word processor can also help you transcribe.

4. When you’re done with the transcript, it’s time to make the necessary corrections. Proofread and listen to the recording again if needed.

Why You Should Transcribe Your Interviews

Here are a few benefits of transcribing your interviews:

Better Search Engine Visibility

Publishing interview transcripts alongside your audio/video content allows more of your content to be indexed by search engines. While Google can’t directly scan media files, written transcripts give its algorithms fresh content to rank accordingly.

Better search rankings make your brand discoverable to more potential customers and partners looking for your industry-specific knowledge and perspectives shared during interviews.

Widens Your Reach

Providing written transcripts in your audio or video interviews makes the information accessible to a broader audience.

For example, hearing-impaired visitors can engage in the discussions through text without hindrance. Transcripts also help non-native English speakers by giving them time to comprehend exchanges they may have struggled to follow. 

Even those without hearing limitations can benefit from transcripts, as visual learners often absorb information better through reading.

Editing Made Simple

Transcribing interviews into written documents allows you to edit your transcripts before publication. Rather than sorting through audio recordings, you can review exchanges via text to cleanly remove tangential statements that distract from the core narrative. 

Furthermore, having the critical discussion points typed out simplifies crafting a clear storyline highlighting your interviewee’s most impactful perspectives.

Easy Access to Content

Unlike audio/video recordings stored on electronic devices, printed transcripts provide online access to interview content anywhere. Their text format allows for private consumption without conspicuous replaying of media. Transcripts can be handed directly to recipients without leaving an online footprint for sensitive information.

Enhances Interviewing Skills

Transcribing interviews into text allows interviewers and interviewees to review the exchanges and spot areas for improvement. Interviewers can identify missed follow-up opportunities or refine interview questions for better responses. Similarly, interviewees can critique their answers to isolate tendencies to ramble or struggle with particular questions.

Different Transcription Methods

Businesses and research organizations have different options when it comes to getting transcripts. Each offers different pros and cons; some are more appropriate for different circumstances. So, let’s start with the following:

Automatic Transcription Software

Technology has evolved rapidly, and automatic speech recognition (ASR) is getting more popular. While using transcription software may sound like the perfect solution for your transcription tasks, there are a few factors you need to remember, like:

  • You need crystal clear recordings: Your recordings must be of the highest quality so the software can easily understand and produce accurate transcripts. Anything less than perfect means higher amounts of inaccuracies throughout the transcript. 
  • You need to edit them yourselves: One of the biggest pitfalls of ASR transcription is making the necessary corrections yourself. Given that such solutions only reach up to 86% accuracy, you’ll need to set aside a lot of time for edits. 

Manual Transcription

For many folks, manual transcription is the easiest and most common way to transcribe an interview.

Manual transcription is the best option for people who don’t yet have the budget or don’t want to invest in transcription tools. You only need the recording, audio player, pen, and paper to write interview transcripts or a computer to type them. 

However, manually transcribing your interview can be tiring and takes time, especially for very long interviews. You might need more time for other tasks if you’re transcribing – and that’s where Ditto comes in.

Transcription Service Provider

Hiring a transcription company is the most practical option if you want to save time and/or if you have a lot of transcription projects to finish. 

An outsourced transcription company like Ditto handles everything, from transcription to proofreading to formatting. All you need to do is send a file and await the results.

So, if you’re looking for 99% accuracy and adequately formatted transcripts, it is worth considering transcription companies with teams of specialists, such as Ditto Transcripts.

However, some may wonder if paying for a transcription service company is worth it. That’s a fair question, and we have just the answer. 

Factors To Consider When Choosing Your Transcription Partner

If you’re spending money on transcription services, you need to know what to look out for and prioritize. Thankfully, we have exactly what you need, and we’ll start with:

Accuracy Rates

One of the most important aspects of interview transcription is how accurate the results are. As mentioned above, AI transcription only reaches up to 86% accuracy. 

Human transcription services, meanwhile, usually offer around 95% accuracy. Good enough, but that extra 5% can lead to many issues. 

That’s why it’s suggested that you look for a transcription service that offers 99% accuracy rates. Ditto, for example, has a more than 99% guarantee for all transcription projects. 

Fast Turnaround Times

The whole point of working with a transcription services provider is to take the burden of transcription off your hands. 

Ditto’s expert and accurate transcription service takes that issue and throws it out the window. We deliver accurate, pristine transcripts, all proofread and quality checked in 3-5 business days, but we can do it in twenty-four hours or less if needed. 

Affordable Prices

Quality transcription can cost a lot, with high estimates reaching up to $5 per audio minute or a whopping $300 per audio hour. 

No matter how you look at it (even if you squint really hard at the number), that’s not a feasible solution. 

The good news is you don’t need to settle for paying an arm and a leg to get quality transcripts. Ditto’s standard pricing starts at $1.75 per audio minute, with higher rates for faster turnaround times and more economical options for extended deliveries. 

Offers A Wide Range Of Specialties

Interview topics can cover a wide range, and some of the discussions and interviewees may talk about specialized topics using terminology not often found in daily conversations. 

An inexperienced transcription service provider might need help with transcribing specialized content, leading to inaccuracies, extended turnaround times, or both. 

With Ditto, you don’t have to worry about such things. We offer specialized transcription in general, academic, law enforcement, medical, legal, business, and more fields. 

Choose Ditto For Interview Transcription

Accurate and affordable transcription services are well within your reach with Ditto Transcripts. Experience our 99% accuracy guarantees, top-of-the-line customer service, unparalleled security, and the best transcription quality money can buy.

Ditto Transcripts is a Denver, Colorado-based transcription services company that provides fast, accurate, and affordable transcripts for individuals and companies of all sizes. Call (720) 287-3710 today for a free quote, and ask about our free five-day trial.

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