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26 Jul 2018   Last updated 2 February 2022

Need to transcribe interviews? The #1 tip to save time with your research interviews

Automatic transcription

Are you working on research interviews? Do you find it difficult, because you do not know where to start, or maybe you have already started but it looks like you are not going to meet your deadlines?

How much time a research takes, varies a lot. Some researches can take years upon years while some researches only take a week. One thing is almost always the same though: the production of the interview transcript takes up a majority of the time. It does not matter how long your research takes, it is always a good choice to save time. This allows you to focus on things that are truly important, like analyzing the data and drawing conclusions.

The Research

Your research is the core of every dissertation, thesis or market research. When conducting research it is important not to deviate from your research question too much. You will probably use desk and field research. Field research can take the form of qualitative research or quantitative research. Most researches require qualitative research. You have multiple types of qualitative research. Research though qualitative research usually takes the form of interviews. You will need an interview transcript for your report, and it will also help you to better analyze data. We are going to talk about:

  • Conducting the research interviews
  • Creating your interview’s transcript

How to conduct a research interview?

The purpose of an interview is to get the right and enough information from the interviewee. It is important that the information contributes to your research, and that you get enough information. To gain the right information from an interview you will have to prepare good questions. You will also have to question the interviewee in the right way. 5 tips that will allow you to get the most out of your interview:

1) Prepare a questionnaire or a list of the topics you wish to discuss.

This creates a kind of shopping list, so you are ensured you will not forget anything during the interview. A questionnaire or topic list also ensures you don’t lose the thread and do not deviate from the main topic too much.

2) Do not influence the interviewee in his answers.

By not influencing the interviewee you get more honest and reliable answers. For example do not ask the question: ‘What do you like about Los Angeles?’ (perhaps the interviewee does not like Los Angeles at all), but ask: ‘What is your opinion about Los Angeles?’

3) Act in a professional manner during the entire interview.

Show appreciation and understanding for the interviewee, but do not exaggerate. Behave in a way that shows the interviewee you are genuinely interested in what he/she has to say. If you stick to these points the interviewee will me more open and honest. This will allow you to gain more information from the interview.

4) Before asking personal or controversial questions, warm them up with easier questions first.

Remember this person has probably never met you, if you start asking personal questions right away the interviewee will probably go in defensive mode. It is important that you warm the interviewee up first with easy questions, this will build trust. Later on in the interview, you can start asking harder questions.

5) The most important tip of all: practice.

The best way to get better at interviewing is to practice. That is why you should practice your interview first. You can practice your interview on a classmate or on an acquaintance first. Ask this person to give you feedback on how the interview went. Pay extra notice to your posture, your questions, your introduction, the structure, how you ask supplementary questions and whether you are polite. You can also record this practice interview and listen to it later. This way you can find ways you improve yourself.

How to structure an interview

Now that you know what to do and what not to do during your interview it is time to go and conduct your interviews. A research interview usually consists of three parts it is important that you walk through these points chronologically:

  • Opening: In the opening of your interview you first explain your goal. You explain what you are hoping to find out. You will also tell how long the interview will probably take and the topic that will be discussed. Then you start the real interview with an open-ended question.
  • Middle section: In the middle section of the interview the interviewee has the chance to share their story. It is important that you listen carefully during this phase. In this phase of the conversation you have to ask good questions and make sure the interviewee doesn’t deviate too much from the main topic.
  • Final: When you have gotten enough information from the interview, you propose to end the interview. Walkthrough the most important points together and give the interviewee the possibility to add extra information. If something is unclear, this is your time to ask questions.

When conducting the real interview it is important that you make recordings as well. Do not think you can remember everything said. In the opening of the interview ask if the interviewee has any problems with being recorded, they usually do not, but if they do make notes. By making audio recordings you can fully focus on the interview itself instead of making notes. Afterward, you can listen back to your recordings and analyze everything. Preparing well for your research interview takes a lot of time, but it costs even more time to convert your audio to text. To analyze your interviews and to include your interviews in your report, you need to transcribe your interviews. This is an extremely time-consuming and mentally demanding process. Fortunately we have thought of a solution which can save you a lot of time and pain. You can read about this below.

What is the best way of transcribing my research interviews?

If you want to analyze your interviews and include them in your research, it is necessary to transcribe your interviews. Transcribing is an extremely time-consuming process to do manually. Every minute of audio takes about 8 to 10 minutes to transcribe. Having a human create a transcription of an hour-long interview can easily set you back €100. If you have conducted multiple research interviews this can quickly get very expensive. Fortunately, with our transcription software it is possible to have your interview transcript in a cheap and fast way. The only thing left for you to do is make small improvements to make the transcription 100% correct.

Deadlines for researches can be really tight and can have a disheartening effect on you. But by using our transcription software you have the ability to save a lot of time. You can spend this extra time on the things that are truly important in your research, like analyzing the information and drawing conclusions. This will ultimately improve the quality of your research.

To save time and have your interview transcript ready to be analyzed,

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