Are you an aspiring transcriptionist looking to learn how to transcribe an interview or a professional looking to just hone your interview transcription skills?

Well, transcription is a responsible job with several aspects and requires rigorous attention to each one of them. Whether it's legal, medical, or research, different types of transcription have different processes and require certain skills specific to every kind. The same holds true for interview transcription.

In order to deliver accurate interview transcripts to your client, you will need to learn about them, their format, and the process of transcribing such content.

To make it easier for you, we have discussed all of them here.

What Is an Interview Transcript?

An interview transcript is a written document of oral communication between an interviewee and one or more interviewers where the documentation of the interview is done either in real-time or from an audio or video file.

Interview transcription is not limited to the transcription of job interviews and may include research interviews, telephonic interviews, radio interviews, and group discussions.

Things to Consider Before You Start Transcribing an Interview

  1. Factors that impact the transcription process

    Several factors may affect the process when you transcribe an interview. They are:

    • Your speed: Your typing speed, especially for long interview recordings, will decide how long it takes you to transcribe.
    • The audio quality of the recording: Audio quality is an essential factor that affects the transcription process. If the recording is of inferior quality, it may be difficult for you to transcribe and take longer.
    • The number of people in the interview: The higher the number of people in the interview, the longer it takes to transcribe, as you need to identify the speakers correctly.
  2. Purpose of transcribing an interview

    The reason for getting an interview transcript plays a crucial role in the level of accuracy and detail required in the transcript. For example, a verbatim transcript is unnecessary if it is for your personal use and you intend to use it only for reference notes. However, if you must share the transcript with others for them to review, a higher level of clarity and accuracy is needed.

  3. Get the right tools for the job

    Before you start transcribing, you must ensure that you are well-equipped and have the latest tools, such as:

    • A computer with a word processor, audio player, and a quality keyboard
    • Good-quality headphones with noise-cancellation features offer superior sound quality, making it easy to take note of small details.
    • Transcription software allows you to control the recorded audio while you type, as both are within the same interface.
  4. The level of detail needed

    Based on the level of detail in the transcripts, they can be classified into:

    • Full/True verbatim – everything that is being said, even stutters, and sounds like “uhs’ or “ums” has to be included in the transcript.
    • Verbatim – everything is also included here, but repetitions and stutters are left out.
    • Intelligent/clean verbatim – stutters and other nonverbal sounds are omitted, and the transcript is edited for easy-to-read purposes.
  5. Use of additional features

    Whether you need additional features such as timestamps and identification of speakers must be decided before you start transcribing. Timestamps are particularly helpful when you want to refer to a specific part of the script and can directly access it. You can name speakers as 1, 2, 3, and so on, respectively.

Steps to Follow During Interview Transcription Process

According to the Indeed editorial team, here’s how you should go about preparing your interview transcript:

  1. Listen to the full interview to get all details

    Hearing the entire audio recording provides you with the following important information:

    • Length of the recording
    • Number of speakers
    • Use of technical terminology, other languages, or accents
  2. Prepare a rough draft

    Start with a rough draft that has all the main details of the audio. It does not need to be entirely accurate. For instance, the usage of shortcuts like auto-correcting abbreviations, placeholder texts, and timestamps both simplifies and hastens the transcription process.

  3. Edit the first draft

    Editing the rough draft is a crucial step as it provides clarity and conciseness to the transcript. It helps you to delete grammatical and syntax mistakes and also ensures that the structure and flow of the transcribed script are similar to the interview.

  4. Format the document

    Formatting your edited document is the final step of transcription, as adhering to the interview transcript format is important. It includes adjustment of the font size and addition of titles, headers, paragraphs, and page numbers.

However, this process might be exhausting for lengthy audios. As a transcriptionist, you will get paid by the hour of audio length and usually, you will know upfront how many speakers there are. So it's best to scan long interviews and divide them into sections rather than creating rough drafts and final versions. This way, you can save time.

Interview Transcript Example

Intelligent verbatim interview transcript:

Interviewer: Why have you selected transcription as your career choice?

Interviewee 1: Besides offering a broad scope for professional growth, the career of a transcriptionist requires certain skills that I have, such as strong listening skills, fast and accurate typing skills, sound language and proofreading skills, and attention to detail.

Interviewer: How fast can you complete transcribing an hour-long interview?

Interviewee 2: To start with, it may take 4-5 hours, but with experience and practice, I’m sure I will be able to do a faster job with higher accuracy.

Enhance Your Transcription Skills with the Transcription Certification Institute

What you have read here is just an overview - a drop out of the ocean. To master your interview transcription skills, you need to have an in-depth understanding of every factor and step mentioned here. You can start by browsing through various articles and free resources on our website.

However, if you are looking to learn transcription skills from scratch, then enroll in the TCI course that is 100% online and self-paced and equips you to earn your potential in just 3 weeks. Contact our team to learn more about our course and services.



Q1. How long does it take to transcribe an interview?

A1. Your typing speed determines the time it will take to transcribe an interview. An expert transcriber typically takes one hour to accurately transcribe a fifteen-minute-long piece of recorded audio.

Q2. How much does it cost to transcribe interviews?

A2. The cost of transcribing an interview depends on the length of the recording and the turnaround time. The general industry rate for interview transcripts varies from $1.30 per minute to $3.50 per minute depending upon the turnaround time requested.

Q3. How to transcribe interviews for research?

A3. You must focus on the accuracy of facts while transcribing interviews for research.