Writing Interview Transcripts With 8 Tips

Writing Interview Transcripts With 8 Tips

Writing an interview transcript can be a daunting task, especially if you’ve never done it before. It’s important to get it right, though, because the transcript is a permanent record of the interview and can be used as evidence in legal proceedings. 

In this article, we’ll give you eight tips for writing an accurate and complete transcript of an interview.

What Is An Interview Transcription?

Interview transcription is a written record of an oral conversation, typically created by transcribing audio recordings of the interview. An interview transcript can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • To create a written record of an interview for legal purposes
  • To create a written record of an interview for research purposes
  • To create a written record of an interview for journalistic purposes
  • To create a written record of an interview for personal use

Interview transcription can be done by a professional transcription service or manually by the person conducting the interview and using a mobile phone, computer or laptop while conducting an online interview. If you are transcribing an interview yourself, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure accuracy.

8 Tips For Writing Interview Transcripts

1. Listen to the Recording Multiple Times

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to listen to the recording of the interview multiple times before you start transcribing it. This will help you get a feel for the flow of the conversation and make it easier to identify any unclear parts.

2. Use a Transcription Software

There are many different transcription software programs available, and they can be a big help when transcribing an interview. Transcription software can help you automatically pause the recording after each sentence, which makes it much easier to type out the conversation. Transcribing an interview doesn’t have to be time-consuming and frustrating.

3. Focuses the interviewer’s attention

Notes taken by interviewers during a candidate’s responses may disrupt the active-listening process. To avoid this, Review the interview transcript later, which will also serve in place of written notes. This way, the interviewer can give their full attention to the candidate.

4. Type Out the Conversation in Real-Time

If you’re using transcription software, you can type out the conversation in real time as it’s happening. This can be a great way to stay on top of the conversation and make sure you don’t miss anything.

5. Create a Rough Draft First

Don’t worry about getting everything perfect in the first draft. Just type out the conversation as best you can and then go back and edit it later. This will help you get the basic transcript down and then you can go back and fill in any missing details.

6. Edit the Transcript for Clarity

Once you have a rough draft of the transcript, go back and edit it for clarity. Make sure all of the speakers are identified and that their dialogue is easy to follow. You may also want to add in any nonverbal communication, such as laughing or pauses, to give the transcript more context.

7. Proofread the Transcript for Accuracy

After you’ve edited the transcript for clarity, proofread it for accuracy. This is where transcription software can come in handy again, as it can help you catch any errors you may have made while transcribing.

8. Save the Transcript in a Safe Place

Once you’re finished transcribing and editing the transcript, be sure to save it in a safe place. This way, you’ll have it on hand in case you need it for legal or research purposes.

Interview Transcript Example

Depending on the reason for the interview, transcript formats may vary. Here is an example of a more common interview transcript:

Interviewee: David Aaronson

Interviewer: Tyler Adams

Date: Tuesday, November 15

Meeting place: Room N201

Attendees: TA = Tyler Adams (interviewer), DA = David Aaronson (interviewee)

TA: Hi David, thanks for coming in today.

DA: No problem, thanks for having me.

TA: So why don’t we start by having you tell me a little bit about your experience in the customer service industry?

DA: Well, I’ve been working in customer service for about 10 years now. I’ve had a lot of experience dealing with different types of customers, and I’ve learned how to handle difficult situations. I’m patient and efficient, and I always work to resolve any issue the customer is having.

TA: That sounds great. Can you give me an example of a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer?

DA: Yeah, I once had a customer who was extremely angry about a mistake we had made with their order. I calmly explained the situation to them and offered to rectify it, and in the end, they were satisfied with the result.

TA: That’s terrific. I can see that you have a lot of experience dealing with customer service issues.

[End of Interview]


These are just a few tips to help you write an accurate and complete transcript of an interview. Just remember to listen to the recording multiple times, use transcription software, and edit the transcript for clarity. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to create a transcript that is both accurate and complete.

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