Important Points to Consider Before Recording an Interview

Posted on 29th April 2016 • Categories: General, Research Companies, Students, Transcription

Important points to consider before recording an interview:-

Ok, so you’ve got a number of interviews to carry out and you plan on sending the audio recordings to a reputable transcriptionist for transcribing.  After arranging dates and times with your interviewees, there’s just a few important things to consider before recording the interviews.

Have a read through the list below and if you follow it, this will ensure your recording is clear, enabling your transcriber to provide you with quality transcripts which will have captured everything that has been spoken: –

1. Make sure your recording equipment is in good working order.  It is always wise to have a backup recorder with you, just in case your chosen recording equipment decides to stop working.  To record your interview, you can use recording equipment such as a Dictaphone, Smartphone or a Peripheral Mic.

2. Consider your location carefully.  Make sure you conduct the interviews in a quiet location with minimal background noise. Some people choose to record their interviews in coffee shops or restaurants.  This is a big NO!  You will be surprised what the recorder can pick up; everything from coffee grinders, steamers, microwaves, dragging of chairs, cash registers, mobile phones, people talking, crying babies, the list goes on.  Ideal locations include libraries, conference rooms, or the interviewee’s home.

3. Ensure there are no open windows.  As mentioned above, the recorder will pick up everything, including road traffic noise, lawn mowers, police and ambulance sirens, barking dogs, birds etc.

4. Make sure the recorder is in the centre of the table, so it can pick up the interviewer and the interviewee’s voice.  The microphone or recorder should be placed in a way that it covers all speakers in the interview. Carry out a 30 second practice test and play the recorder back to ensure that all of the voices can be heard.

5. Ask the interviewee(s) to identify themselves.  This will enable the transcriber to make a note of their voice in order to identify them whilst typing.

6. It is very important that the interviewer and interviewee(s) speak slowly and clearly.  This is essential to capture every word that is spoken, especially if either of you have strong accents or talk particularly fast. (Unclear recordings can incur extra costs).

7. Try not to talk over each other.  Let the other one finish what they are saying before the other person speaks, otherwise the transcriber might miss important points when typing up the transcript.

Follow the above and you can’t go wrong.  Good luck!