After recording an interview, transcribing it is the next big step. It requires listening skills, patience and careful editing. An hour-long interview will easily take 6 to 7 hours, depending on your typing skill. Take enough time to transcribe to maintain accuracy.
Tips to transcribe an interview
- Write the name of the interviewer, interviewee, time, date and location, where it took place.
- Interviews are generally in question and answer format. Use foot pedal to stop and start your tape. Play a small section at a time and type as you hear them. Repeat the tape as and when required. Include both questions as well as interviewee’s answer.
- Transcribe each and every word. Sometimes some words are not very clear, there you read the whole paragraph and make an intelligent guess. Put that into a bracket to show that it is your text, not from the original sources.
- Insert paragraph in between whenever an interviewee makes a new idea. Put a space in between each speaker. If needed, you can edit into more paragraph in the final copy.
- After finishing the initial draft, listen to the tape again. Read the transcribed interview at the same time. Do corrections, if necessary.
- Now start editing. Spell out abbreviations and clear all punctuations.
- Correct grammar and the content in the final copy.
- Edit excessive use of verbal tics like “I mean”, “you know” etc. You can also edit ‘um’, ‘uh’ like fillers, which is a distraction while delivering a message of the total interview.
- Save each stage of your typed interview in a separate file for further reference.
- Check spelling for the last time. Now it is ready for publication.
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Julie Parker is the Transcription Supervisor for GMR Transcription Services, Inc, a leading U.S. transcription company based in Orange County, California. Julie has a true passion for effective verbal and written communication. She applies her passion to providing the excellent customer service and accuracy upon which GMR Transcription’s clients depend. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children, watching movies, and hosting dinner parties with friends.