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How to transcribe an interivew: the easy way!

Transcribing an audio interview has many benefits but writing a transcription by hand can be painstakingly long. Amberscript’s transcription services use technology to help you transcribe interviews in no time. 

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example of an interview transcript

Most people who often need to conduct interviews for work – such as research students, marketers, researchers, and lawyers – know very well that it is essential to getting the full story. 

However, a completely raw interview recording is next to useless as it takes forever just to scan through entire recordings; let alone trying to quickly move back-and-forth between sections in order to compare possible connections between them.

This makes it tough to identify the most crucial details of the interview and pick out key fragments. You can’t tell if you need to do more interviews to acquire more data. 

To make use of an interview, you have to create a written document of the audio, known as a transcription so that you can reference it later.

Advantages of transcribing an interview
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It helps to keep your research relevant

Easily search through your text and find relevant parts

It’s faster to edit

Once audio is recorded – you can’t adjust what was said. With text that’s not the issue

Pick out key fragments

Having a transcript is necessary to perform qualitative research and highlight key fragments of your interview

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It’s easier to translate

Translation of your document becomes so much easier with text

It saves time

Working with text is much quicker and easier, than with audio

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Facilitates collaboration

If you’re working in a team, collaborating on interview outcomes becomes a lot easier.

Three types of transcription

Making an interview transcription is possible in three ways:

Verbatim transcription

Verbatim transcribing means typing out everything, including filler words (uhms and aahs). This is also called literal transcribing. It is often used in qualitative research where human reactions have to be monitored. For example, in psychological examinations or marketing research.

Clean transcription

Clean transcription includes the spoken words but removes filler words, stutters and repetitions. This method is useful if the emotions and intonation of a respondent are not important. The clean (or edited) transcription can be used for an article in the newspaper or for your thesis. This form of transcription is the most common.

Summary transcription

The final type is called “summary transcription”. Interview transcriptions are rarely made using this approach. Summarizing the contents of the transcription is usually done during editing. This form is used, among other things, for rendering meetings.

woman sitting on armless chair with light between bookcases in room conducting an interview

Transcribing an interview can be tough and time-consuming, especially if you’re inexperienced. If this sounds like you, know that there are other tasks more worth your while than writing a transcript by hand.

Luckily there are transcription services out there, like Amberscript, that can automatically create a transcript of your interview with up to 85% accuracy.


Here’s how to transcribe an audio interview into text form.

1. Upload

Upload your audio or video file into our editor. Select the language in the audio and the number of speakers. Our advanced speech recognition engine will start the interview transcription process. Sit back and relax while we do tall the work.

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2. Receive and edit your interview transcript

Automatic interview transcription will be ready in an instant. After receiving the interview transcript, you can check and edit it with our user-friendly editor. If you want to outsource the revision to our transcribers, please use our Manual Transcription Services.

Manual transcription
Amberscript transcribe MP3 to text, exporting the file screen shot via the transcription tool

3. Export your interview transcript

We support multiple text formats.  You can export and download your file in:

  • .docx – Microsoft Word file format
  • .json – JavaScript Object Notation
  • .srt – SubRip Subtitle file
  • .vtt – Web Video Text Tracks
  • EBU-STL – European Broadcast Union subtitles
  • .txt – Plain text file
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Transcribing interviews with automatic or manual services?

Choose the best option to save time on your interview transcription.

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Manual transcription

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Frequently asked questions

  • Is it safe to use transcription software?

    Yes, transcription software has been benefiting from the improvement in speech recognition technology. However, you will need to read the transcript carefully as it might not be completely accurate, and edit any errors yourself.

    Please be aware that if the quality of your recording is poor, the transcript will follow suit. If this happens, make sure to retake and clarify any muffled words or phrases.

  • How do I ensure my interview recording is a good quality?

    To make sure your audio recording is a good quality, make sure to:

    • Not speak over each other during the interview, and remain calm.
    • Get good recording equipment so there’s no ambient noise–recent smartphones usually have great built-in recordings. The Amberscript app allows you to record and transcribe automatically with your smartphone.
    • Find a quiet location; too much background noise will result in poorer quality.

    Use software like Adobe Audition to improve the quality of your recording

  • How long does self transcription take?

    On average it can take up to 10 times the length of the audio or video recording to transcribe an interview yourself. Many people choose to get the help of automatic speech recognition software, like Amberscript, to save time.

  • Interview transcription vs writing out an interview transcript

    To summarize, transcribing your interview is an easy way to store and review your files – whilst ensuring accuracy. 

    Pros of self transcription: 

    • It’s the cheapest option 

    Cons of self transcription:

    • It takes a lot of time that could be spent elsewhere 
    • It can be a frustrating process if the transcriber has no prior experience with transcription
    • The transcript will not always be error free

    Pros of automatic interview transcription

    • Your transcript will be ready within minutes 
    • You save time on transcribing the interview yourself 

    Cons of automatic interview transcription: 

    • You will have to spend money.
    • Depending on the quality of your recording, your transcript may not be 100% accurate