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Tips to Transcribe an Interview – A Guide with Tips & Examples

Published by at August 16th, 2021 , Revised On August 29, 2023

Interview transcription is the conversion of speech into written format. It includes question-answer recording sessions between two or more people. It’s generally used for business, legal, research, media, and medical purposes.

Do you know it may easily take 6-7 hours to transcribe an interview of one hour?

Yes, you heard it right, and the speed of transcribing depends on your skills and proficiency.

To transcribe an interview efficiently, you need to be proficient in the following skills:

  • Listening capabilities
  • Patience
  • Language proficiency
  • Editing

How to Transcribe an Interview?

Please write down the interviewer and interviewee’s name along with the time, date, and location where it was conducted.

It’s essential to select an appropriate transcribing method before starting your transcribing procedure, depending on the purpose of your transcription. Let’s take a look at the following methods of transcription.

Verbatim Transcription

Verbatim transcription is the method of converting the conversation into text precisely the way the participant spoke it. It would help if you were careful while listening to the audio for capturing the sound, tone, words, pauses. You can make use of punctuation to convey the exact speech.

There’re three types of verbatim transcriptions such as:

Intelligent Verbatim

It’s a ready-to-read transcript, and it includes a transcript with minor paraphrasing and detailed editing. It consists of the entire conversation of the transcript with slight paraphrasing by eliminating:

  • Grammatical errors
  • Fillers (umm, huh, you know, I mean)
  • Incomplete sentences
  • Repetitions
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Unwanted sounds.
  • Shutters (Ac-Ac-Actually)


Verbatim is a word-to-word transcript of the audio recording with grammatical errors and false starts, excluding the clutters (Ac-Ac-Actually) and repetitions. Journalists, students, and researchers use this style frequently.

True Verbatim

True verbatim is a detailed word-to-word transcript of the conversation without editing, paraphrasing, or eliminating non-verbal communication. Academic researchers widely use it.

Transcribing an interview involves converting spoken language into written text. It captures every word, pause, and nonverbal cue. This textual record aids analysis, research, and understanding in various fields, like journalism, research, and qualitative studies.

About Alvin Nicolas

Avatar for Alvin NicolasNicolas has a master's degree in literature and a PhD degree in statistics. He is a content manager at ResearchProspect. He loves to write, cook and run. Nicolas is passionate about helping students at all levels.