What is the purpose of transcription of interviews and how to conduct it correctly

10 October 2023

It is convenient to collect information using recording tools. In the process of an oral interview with the interlocutor, you do not need to be distracted by taking notes, the technique will do everything by itself. But then the question arises how to transcribe the interview with the least loss in time and keep all the data up to date. We will tell you more about how to translate an interview into text in the article.

Why transcribe the interview?

Do not neglect the decryption. In practice, this approach solves a lot of problems. If the work involves communication with experts, specialists, representatives of different fields, it is important to keep the information received from them in an accessible format.

Transcriptions make it easier to work


If the interviewer constantly thinks about his notes in the process of communication, the quality of the survey will drop significantly. To prevent this, to allow the interviewer to fully immerse himself in the work, you should think in advance about the subsequent transcription of the conversation.

Using transcriptions helps to avoid errors and inconsistencies

Every detail of the conversation, when it is recorded, will not escape attention. Any mistake that might have been made with the usual format can be eliminated instantly. If there is a translation, the interviewee can easily refer to its text, pointing to specific details of the conversation, giving the facts voiced during it.

Transcriptions increase accessibility for HR department employees


Interviewing face-to-face can be difficult to convey the necessary information to all employees of the HR department. But not if there is a text version of the interview. The transcript will allow all employees to get to know the candidate better, and they will be able to perceive him unbiased, forming their own, not distorted by anyone, opinion.

Written transcriptions provide more data for analysis

Having a translation in hand, it is much easier for people working with research to analyze the responses of different respondents and form data summaries on this basis. If the interview is conducted qualitatively, has all the necessary answers and reactions, then in the presence of transcription it will be easier to analyze text files. It is easier to identify patterns, patterns, and repetitive information in them.

What transcription methods exist?


There are several different ways that can be used for transcription. If there is enough time, the interview is small, then you can use the manual method. But when you have to translate large volumes into text format, it is better to use automatic transcription, or entrust it to an agency.

Using software for automatic transcription

Programs that perform translation in automatic mode cannot be called reliable assistants. Their accuracy is not high, but sufficient for understanding. Such programs are inexpensive, and you can improve the quality if the original audio file has a sufficiently clear and clean sound. Another disadvantage is that if there are several speakers, the program may not detect this and you will have to edit the document manually later.  

We do the transcription ourselves

Man with laptop

It is possible to achieve high accuracy of transmission of all information if you carry out the transcription yourself. Manual decryption is more accurate, but it takes more time. This method is suitable if:

  • the conversation touches on a large amount of technical information;
  • it involves more than two speakers;
  • the speaker has speech defects or an accent;
  • the transcriber has enough free time;
  • the transcriber already has experience.

If you have not had to do transcription before, then it will be very difficult to achieve high quality. Listening skills, typing speed, knowledge of the basic rules of spelling, punctuation, and document design play a role.

Sending to the transcription agency

Greatly simplifies the task of contacting a specialized agency. There the file will be processed by experienced people. Such work costs money, but the quality of the finished file will be really high. Agencies also offer different formats, they take into account all the wishes of customers.

Hiring a freelance translator

Girl typing

Finding a good transcriber is a difficult task. Today, remote workers are being hired more and more often, and many freelancers are really good at their task. If you are willing to spend time searching for and testing such an employee, then the issue can be considered resolved.

You can search for an employee either independently, by submitting ads to the personnel search platforms, or through an agency or freelance exchanges. The hired remote employee will first study the request, and after that he will be able to voice the adequate cost of his work. It takes about 4-5 hours to work with an hour record.

Manual decryption

Have you decided to try to process the audio file yourself? Be patient and follow the following plan:

  • listen to the audio file, mark the names of all the speakers, get acquainted with the topic of the conversation;
  • prepare everything you need for work, in particular a listening device, a computer with a program for text recording;
  • write the first draft, do not pay much attention to the correctness of the spelling, this can be corrected at the editing stage;
  • use abbreviations of phrases and words in the text, so you can reduce time and save space in the text file;
  • this is followed by a thorough proofreading of the finished text, at this stage it is necessary to correct all errors, form a readable text;
  • format the file, giving it a finished look, use different styles, font, size, colors for this.

Automatic decryption

The automated process will not require much effort from you. This is much more convenient than trying to translate a conversation into a text format yourself. It’s easy to start using Follow UP algorithms. Artificial intelligence will not miss important theses, conclusions, decisions. Thanks to the automated algorithm, you no longer need to think about how to transcribe the interview. FollowUP offers a convenient format of work and a wide range of translation opportunities.

Automatic summary of meetings in Zoom / Google Meets / Microsoft Teams