Despite all the technology presently on the market, the human brain is still the most important tool that we have in our arsenal…and it’s free. But with this said, keeping a nose above technology does not imply that we should eliminate it from our lives completely. When it comes to conducting and recording interviews, a pleasant mix of technology and critical thinking goes a long way.
Here are five tips that you may find useful the next time you set out to record an interview:
1. Get a Digital Voice Recorder
The sound quality of a digital voice recorder is far superior to traditional tape recorders. Additionally, you never need to worry about running out of tape, which would otherwise result in gaps in your recording. Many digital voice recorders afford users over 600 hours of recording time so that you don’t miss a thing. Upload the audio file to your computer and manipulate it at your discretion.
2. Eliminate Background Noise
Public areas, like malls, are notorious for background noise. To eliminate extraneous background noise, pick a quiet, private room in which to conduct the interview. The more background noise you eliminate, the less guesswork you’ll have to contend with later.
3. Testing: 1, 2, 3
The worst pitfall that an interviewer can run into is playing back an hour of alphabet soup. Test your equipment by placing the recorder in the vicinity of the speakers and ask one of them to talk. Play it back. If it sounds okay, replace the recorder. When the interview starts, press ‘record’ and leave well enough alone.
4. Coordinate Speaking Times
If possible, ask the participants not to speak over each other during the interview. This will help you a lot later. Additionally, have someone state the day, date and time at the beginning of the interview, followed by each participant stating their name clearly and spelling it out clearly.
5. Avoid Asking Questions with a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ Answer
The best quotes are candid quotes. Keep your questions simple but open-ended. Replace ‘Was your campaign successful?’ with ‘What were the most successful aspects of your campaign, and why?’
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