Transcribing interviews – it’s important to remember why we do it!

One reason why is memory. Can you recall word for word a long conversation you had last week? If you answered yes, then you have a very unique skill because for most people it would be impossible!

Thankfully, with today’s technology, it is easy to record interviews so we can return to the audio files and re-listen when we can’t quite remember what was said and in what context.  And context is vital when transcribing interviews, because why things are said, and how they are said, can strongly affect the meaning of the spoken word.

So, why is transcribing interviews so important when you already have the recordings to refer to?

Top reasons for interview transcription

  • Once an interview is transcribed, you will have a detailed written account of what was said, which allows you to share this with multiple people if required. This is particularly useful if research findings need to be shared across a project team, or if an interview is needed for an employment tribunal, for example.
  • It is a reliable way of ensuring all parties agree with what was discussed as participants can confirm the accuracy of the transcript, therefore reducing the risk of future issues.
  • It allows no room for confusion when trying to remember specific details discussed during an interview. You are able to easily refer back to the transcript when discrepancies arise, rather than scrolling back and forth to find the exact spot in the recording.
  • During the interview, you are able to fully engage in the conversation without having to pause while you write down your interviewee’s responses and take notes. It allows the interview to flow more naturally, which in turn can put the interviewee at ease and be more forthcoming with their answers and views.
  • The transcript is a lasting record, something which can be encrypted and securely stored without taking up lots of memory on your computer.
  • You can make notes on the transcript to help you with your research, your book, or any medical, legal or HR proceedings it may be needed for.
  • By having a transcript of a podcast or video interview, you are making the content more accessible to your audience should they have difficulty hearing or listening to audio.
  • It is easier to extract quotes or snippets from the interview to use in your research, your book or in social media posts to share information to your followers.
  • A correctly formatted transcript can be compatible with qualitative research software, such as NVivo, for effective data analysis.
  • You can choose to have a verbatim transcript or a clean verbatim transcript (also known as intelligent verbatim). This will depend on whether you need every um, er and stutter included (verbatim), or a transcript which captures every word but not every um and er (clean verbatim).

These are a just a few of the advantages to transcribing interviews rather than relying on a recording, or memory!

If you would like to know more about Business Friend’s interview transcription service, please do get in touch.