Woman Having A Video Interview

How to Transcribe an Interview in 3 Simple Steps

Transcribing an interview gives you an easy reference point when making critical decisions about who to hire or what research information to include in your report. It also makes it easier for you to create work reports, memos, and emails from the information covered in the interview, as you can copy and paste quotes from the interviewee.

Some speech-to-text software even has features that create reports and memos from your transcript to save you time. 

Today, I’ll go over everything you need to know about writing interview transcripts, preparing to transcribe an interview, and other must-know tips for creating an interview transcript. 

How to Prepare for Transcribing an Interview

1. Know what you want from the interview transcript

Start by considering your end goal for the interview transcript. Are you using the information for a research report, to assess potential job candidates, or to create work memos? Based on your end goal, you can adjust the type of transcription method to save you time down the road. 


2. Get yourself prepared with the right tools

  1. Computer and charger

  2. Headphones: You’ll need a pair of high-quality headphones to pick up on every word said. Playing your recording out loud on a speaker can be challenging to hear well and feature distracting sounds, so we strongly recommend wearing headphones. 

  3. An audio player: Depending on how you transcribe the interview, you may create a recording and then upload it to your software. If this is the case, test a free audio player, like Windows Media Player or iTunes, and create a recording. If your interview is over Zoom or other video conferencing platforms, check to see if you can create a recording within the software. 

  4. Transcription software: Notta is a time-saving speech-to-text software with many outstanding features, including speaker identification, quick turnaround, and high accuracy. Notta has 58 support languages, easily exports transcripts to different formats, and even creates work memos or reports from your transcript. You can also use it to live transcribe your interview over Zoom or other platforms, or you can use it to transcribe a recorded audio clip. 

  5. Word processor: If you are transcribing the interview, you’ll need a text editor, such as MS Word, Google Docs, or Pages. Save your document as you go to avoid losing all your hard work! 

  6. A foot pedal: Professional transcribers usually invest in a foot pedal so that they can easily pause, rewind, play, and fast-forward your recording using your foot instead of hotkeys. Using your foot saves you time because you won’t need to make extra keystrokes. 

 3. Choose your transcription method

Before you start transcribing or choosing a transcription software, determine which transcription method will work best for your intended uses.

  1. Verbatim transcription: A verbatim transcription includes every spoken word, including stutters, hesitations, such as “uh” or “you know,” and pauses. It’ll also include emotional expressions like someone laughing or crying. This type of transcription is primarily used for research or legal professions where somebody’s tone and emotion matter to the content. 

  2. Intelligent verbatim transcription: Intelligent verbatim transcription is the most commonly used type of transcription because it removes excess from the transcript to improve readability and grammar. For example, an intelligent verbatim transcription would remove “uh,” “yeah,” or “you know.” It would also fix broken sentences and grammatical errors and cut up long paragraphs. In most cases, you’ll want to choose this type of transcription because it’s easier to refer back to later. 

  3. Edited transcription: An edited transcription will be the most clean-cut and succinct transcript version. Essentially, an edited transcription is a summarized and highly edited version of the typical intelligent verbatim transcript. It won’t change the meaning of the story or interview, but it will dramatically change the length and cut out any unnecessary or repetitive bits. 

How to Transcribe an Audio or Video Interview?

Step 1: Get transcripts of an interview with Notta

Go to Notta and create an account. You'll be redirected to your Notta Dashboard. Then click ‘Import Files.’

Drag and drop your audio/video file to start the transcription. Alternatively, you can paste links from Google Drive or Dropbox and let Notta transcribe cloud files.

Once the file is uploaded, Notta will automatically create an editable transcript from the audio or video with timestamps. 

Notta Import File

Notta also supports transcribing real-time conversations. You can schedule the Notta Bot to join online meetings, such as Zoom so that it can record and transcribe your interview live. 

Transcribe an interview using Notta

Step 2: Edit the transcript and add speakers

Notta transcribes audio with high accuracy and it can also identify speakers in the recorded conversations. However, it’s still wise to do a quick read-through of your transcript before sharing it with others to ensure everything is as accurate as possible. 

Notta transcribe and translate

Notta has a user-friendly interface that allows you to edit your text, insert images, check the transcript with “Automatic correction" and highlight key points of the transcript. You can also playback the audio recording in Notta, and the software will automatically highlight the spoken words. This can help you make any edits faster. 

Step 3: Export and share the transcript

After you’ve completed your edits, click ‘Export’ at the top of the page to download your interview transcript. From there, you can select from a variety of file formats, including TXT, PDF, SRT, DOCX, and XLSX, and also opt to include timestamps within the downloaded file.

Other options include merging full text, having a share link, and including marks and notes you added to the file. 

Notta accuracy

Unlock the Full Value of Your Interviews

Trying to focus more on your interview?Notta provides high-accuracy transcription features, which allows you to focus more on reviewing without distracting manual work.

How to Transcribe an Interview Manually?

Transcribing an interview on your own involves playing the audio back and typing the transcript in a word processor as you go. Unfortunately, this can take around four hours of work for every hour of audio that you’re recording. 

If you want to transcribe an interview on your own manually, you’ll need to take the following steps to ensure you create an accurate interview transcript: 

Step 1: Block Out Time

Manually transcribing audio takes a lot of time, about four hours for every hour of audio. So, if you plan to transcribe an interview on your own, make sure to block out a large chunk of time in your schedule. Add extra time to your schedule if the audio is hard to understand, the speaker is difficult to understand, or uses unfamiliar jargon or slang. 

Step 2: Listen to the recording all the way through

Listen to the recording all the way through before you begin transcribing. While listening, take down a few notes about how you may want to structure your transcript. For example, if you are transcribing a qualitative interview, you may want to organize the transcript into different sections for different types of research or parts of an experiment answer. 

Step 3: Transcribe a draft

After listening through the draft once, begin transcribing the draft on your second listen-through. Be prepared to pause the audio frequently so you can catch up, as most inexperienced transcribers will not be able to type as quickly as the speakers are talking in the audio. Pay close attention to the type of transcript editing rules so that you can stay consistent with formatting and omit unnecessary pauses or “ums” as you go. 

Label each speaker with their name or initials. Spell out the person’s full name the first time they speak during the interview for the best reference. For added clarity, consider color-coding different speakers throughout the transcript. 

If you cannot understand part of the audio even after rewinding the audio multiple times, type the word “unintelligible” in brackets and continue typing. If you have a guess about what is being said, type your best guess inside brackets to indicate that you aren’t 100% positive about what is being said. 

Step 4: Go through the draft and edit

After completing the transcript, go through and edit out any mistakes. Make sure that the transcript is as straightforward as possible and that you are adhering to any specific transcription rules for the type of transcript you’ve chosen and the field in which you work. 

Indicate any breaks within the interview by notating them with brackets at specific points. 

Step 5: Format the document 

Use the following intelligent verbatim transcript format to keep your transcription consistent and easy to read: 

Audio [file name] 

Transcribed: [19 September 2022]



Interviewee: Opening statement

Interviewer: Response

Interviewee: Statement

Interviewer: Response

Interviewee: Discussion

Interviewer: Response - [00:49 unclear] - use this formatting to indicate unclear parts of the conversation. 

Interviewee: Question

Interviewer: Conclusion

Example of An Interview Transcript

Interview transcripts can vary in format depending on the specific purpose of the interview. Whether it's for research, journalism, or documentation purposes, having a standardized format ensures clarity and readability. Here is a common example of an interview transcript format:

Interviewee[INT]: XXX

Interviewer[INTV]: XXX

Date of Interview: mm.dd.yy

Location of Interview: XXX

[Begin Transcript 00:00:10]

[INT]: Good morning! Thank you for joining us today. Could you please introduce yourself?
[INTV]: Good morning! My name is [Interviewee's Name], and I have been working in [industry/field] for [number of years]. I specialize in [specific expertise or area of focus].

[INT]: That's impressive, [Interviewee's Name]. Tell us about your experience with [relevant topic].
[INTV]: Certainly. In my previous role at [Company/Organization], I was responsible for [specific responsibilities or projects]. I successfully [describe achievements or outcomes]. This experience has provided me with a strong foundation in [relevant skills or knowledge].

[INT]: That sounds like a valuable skill set. Can you give an example of [specific topic or project] you worked on?
[INTV]: Absolutely. One of the most notable projects I worked on was [describe project or situation]. I was involved in [specific tasks or responsibilities] and collaborated with [team members or stakeholders]. As a result, we achieved [specific outcomes or impact], which positively [describe the benefits or results].

[INT]: Impressive results, [Interviewee's Name]. How do you stay updated with the latest [relevant industry/field] trends and strategies?
[INTV]: Continuous learning is essential in [industry/field]. I actively engage in [specific activities like attending conferences, webinars, or industry events]. Additionally, I regularly [specific actions like reading industry publications, following thought leaders, or participating in professional communities]. By staying up-to-date, I ensure that I bring the latest insights and best practices to my work.

[INT]: Great to hear about your dedication to professional growth. One last question: how do you handle [specific challenges or situations]?
[INTV]: I thrive in [specific challenging situations or environments]. When faced with [specific challenges], I [describe your approach or strategies]. By [specific actions like effective communication, problem-solving, or adaptability], I have successfully [describe achievements or outcomes] in challenging circumstances.

[INT]: Thank you, [Interviewee's Name]. It was a pleasure speaking with you today. We appreciate your time and wish you the best of luck in [relevant context].
[INTV]: Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure discussing my experience with you. I look forward to [specific future possibilities or opportunities].

[End Transcript 00:05:21]


Which is the easiest way to transcribe an interview?

The easiest way to transcribe an interview is by using a speech-to-text transcription tool like Notta. Notta frees up your hands and saves you time by creating an accurate transcription of recorded and live audio, such as interviews, work meetings, lectures, and more.

Notta also improves your productivity by allowing you to make quick edits to the interview transcript, add notes or images to the file, and export the transcription in multiple formats. 

Transcribe an interview on your own with Notta

Why do we need to transcribe interviews?

We need to transcribe interviews to keep information and research accurate. Whether you’re transcribing a job interview or a qualitative research interview, having an accurate record of everything said provides you with a