Dima Eremin
May 8, 2024

How to write an interview transcript

✅ Complete guide to transcribing your interview: Essential tips for accurate transcription, formatting, and analysis. ▶️

How to write an interview transcript
How to write an interview transcript

Delving into the world of interview transcription unveils key insights and solutions for researchers, journalists, and professionals alike. In this guide, we can find the significance of interview transcripts and equip ourselves with the skills to craft high-quality transcripts step-by-step.

We'll guide you through a step-by-step process, from choosing the right format to ensuring flawless accuracy. You'll learn practical techniques to maximize the value of your transcripts, making them easily searchable and ripe for analysis.

What Is An Interview Transcript?

An interview transcript is a written record of conversations between an interviewer and one or more participants. It captures the dialogue verbatim or in summarized form, serving as a reference for research, analysis, or documentation.

Typically created through audio or video recordings, transcripts play a vital role in qualitative research, journalism, legal proceedings, and various other fields. They provide a detailed account of the interview content, allowing for thorough analysis, referencing, and documentation qualitative research interviews. Transcripts offer journalists, researchers, and professionals a resource for extracting insights, verifying information, and preserving the nuances of communication.

How To Transcribe Interviews

Turning spoken conversations into clear, written, accurate transcripts can feel daunting. This section will break down the transcription process into manageable steps. We'll guide you through choosing the right tools and methods to ensure your transcripts are accurate, efficient, and easy to use.

1. Listen to the full recording

Before diving into the specifics of transcription, taking a moment to listen to the entire interview is crucial. This initial pass allows you to get a feel for the overall flow, identify the number of speakers and any potential audio challenges like accents or background noise. Knowing these details upfront will help you choose the most efficient transcription method and tools for the job.

2. Select a transcription type

When transcribing interviews, selecting the appropriate transcription type is essential for ensuring clarity and accuracy. Depending on the context and purpose of the interview, you may choose from various transcription styles, such as verbatim, clean verbatim, or intelligent verbatim transcript.

Verbatim transcription captures every word, including filler words, hesitations, and non-verbal expressions, providing a precise representation of the conversation. Clean verbatim removes unnecessary elements like filler words and repetitions, enhancing readability while retaining the essence of the dialogue. Intelligent verbatim strikes a balance between verbatim and clean verbatim, preserving meaning while omitting irrelevant speech patterns.

Example transcript:

Transcription type

3. Choose the proper tools

Selecting the right tools to transcribe interviews is imperative. Begin by choosing reliable transcription software or platforms tailored to your needs, offering features like playback controls, timestamping, and text formatting options. Popular tools such as Bluedot, Rev, or Tactiq provide user-friendly interfaces and support various file formats, simplifying the transcription process.

Additionally, invest in high-quality headphones or speakers to ensure clear audio playback, minimizing errors and enhancing comprehension. Consider utilizing foot pedals for hands-free control of audio playback, allowing for seamless transcription without interrupting your typing flow.

4. Write a draft

Don't aim for perfection – focus on capturing the essence of the conversation. Listen in sections, pausing frequently to type out what's being said.

Don't worry about including every single word at this stage – filler words, stutters, and background noise can be addressed later. The goal here is to get the main points down efficiently, leaving you room to refine and polish in the next step.

How to write an interview draft

5. Proofread

Take a fresh look at your draft transcript, for repeated words, ideally with some time in between to avoid overlooking errors. Carefully listen through the entire recording again, meticulously comparing it to your written text. This is where you'll ensure accuracy by catching typos, correcting grammar, and making sure all the speakers are identified correctly.

How to correct an interview draft

6. Interview transcript format

Begin by structuring the transcript with clear headers indicating the start of each section, including the interviewer's questions and the interviewee's responses. Use a legible font and adequate spacing to enhance readability, and consider incorporating timestamps at regular intervals for easy reference.

To differentiate between speakers, employ speaker tags or initials followed by a colon before each statement. Additionally, maintain a logical flow by organizing the transcript chronologically or by topic, depending on the interview's structure. Finally, include any relevant metadata such as the interview date, location, and participants' names at the beginning of the interview throughout the document for context.

Interview transcript format

Automatically Transcribe An Interview With Bluedot

Bluedot offers intelligent verbatim transcription for interviews and recording meetings, including screen-sharing sessions. With its automatic transcription, users can record meetings live, allowing for quick and highly accurate full transcription of conversations. Our platform's advanced technology automatically converts audio into text, saving users valuable time and effort, and allowing for edited transcription.

Automatic transcription with Bluedot

Additionally, Bluedot's features extend beyond verbatim transcription, enabling users to generate meeting notes and edit transcripts as needed. Whether you're conducting interviews or hosting virtual meetings, Bluedot's transcription software simplifies the process of capturing and documenting important discussions, making it an indispensable tool for professionals.

Features of Bluedot:

  • Transcription services: Automatically transcribe audio files into text, saving time and effort.
  • Recording meetings: Record live meetings, including screen-sharing sessions, to capture important discussions and presentations with amazing audio quality.
  • Generating meeting notes: Create summarized meeting notes based on the transcript, highlighting key points and action items, as well as time stamps.
  • Editing transcripts: Edit transcripts directly within the Bluedot platform to correct errors or make adjustments as needed.
  • Automatic follow-up emails: Bluedot automatically generates personalized follow-up emails based on the verbatim transcript recorded.

By leveraging Bluedot's transcription and meeting recording features, you can efficiently capture, transcribe, and summarize interviews and meetings, streamlining your workflow and enhancing productivity.

The Benefits Of Interview Transcription

Transcribing interviews serves multiple invaluable purposes across various fields. Firstly, transcriptions provide a comprehensive and accurate record of the interview dialogue, preserving crucial information and insights for future reference or analysis. Here are a few more benefits to consider:

Allows interviewer to stay focused

Interview transcription helps the interviewer to stay focused by alleviating the need to simultaneously listen, comprehend, and retain every detail of the conversation. With the assurance that the dialogue is being accurately transcribed, the interviewer can devote their full attention to actively listening to the interviewee's responses and asking pertinent follow-up questions.

This allows for deeper engagement with the interviewee, fostering a more meaningful exchange of information and insights. Moreover, having a written record of the interview enables the interviewer to refer back to specific points or details as needed, without the fear of missing important information.

Provides you with direct documentation

Interview transcription serves as direct documentation by providing a written record of the entire interview dialogue. This documentation is invaluable for various purposes, including research, journalism, legal proceedings, and qualitative analysis.

Having a written transcript allows interviewers to accurately reference and cite the information gathered during the interview. It provides a tangible and verifiable source of data, which can be crucial for supporting claims, verifying facts, or providing evidence in academic or professional contexts.

Others can access the interview

One of the benefits of interview transcription is that it enables others to access the interview content easily. This accessibility is facilitated through various means:

  1. Sharing transcripts: Interview transcripts can be shared electronically via email, cloud storage platforms, or document-sharing services. By distributing the transcripts to relevant stakeholders or team members, others can access and review the interview content at their convenience.
  2. Online repositories: Transcripts can be uploaded to online repositories or databases, making them accessible to a wider audience. These repositories may be public or restricted to specific users, depending on the confidentiality or sensitivity of the interview content.
  3. Reports or publications: Transcripts can be included as supplementary materials in reports, articles, or publications. By citing the transcript, the authors provide readers with direct access to the interview data, enhancing transparency and credibility.
  4. Archiving: Interview transcripts can be archived for long-term storage in institutional repositories, libraries, or archives. This ensures that the interview content remains accessible for future reference or research purposes.

Save time

Without a transcript, you'd be forced to listen back to the entire audio recording, fast-forwarding and rewinding in a frustrating game of search-and-find. Interview transcripts are timesaving heroes in this scenario. They allow you to quickly search for keywords or phrases, pinpointing the exact moment you need within seconds. This eliminates wasted time scouring through audio and lets you focus on what truly matters.


In today's fast-paced world, capturing and retaining valuable insights from interviews is crucial. By leveraging automatic transcription, you ensure every detail is preserved, accuracy is maintained, and your time is maximized.

While various transcription methods exist, Bluedot stands out as the ultimate interview transcription software. Its seamless integration with video conferencing platforms, real-time manual transcription, and intelligent features like screen recording and meeting note generation create an unmatched user experience.

Whether you're a seasoned researcher, a busy journalist, or simply someone cherishing just a few minutes of meaningful conversation, Bluedot empowers you to transform fleeting dialogues into lasting assets with our transcription tool.

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How long does it take to transcribe an interview?

The time it takes to transcribe an interview depends on various factors such as the length of the recording, the complexity of the transcript file content, the quality of the audio, the transcription method, and the transcriptionist's skill level. As a general guideline, it can take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours to transcribe one hour of clear, straightforward audio.

What are the common challenges in interview transcription?

Common challenges in interview transcription include dealing with poor audio quality, deciphering accents or speech patterns, handling overlapping speech or interruptions, and maintaining focus and concentration throughout the process.

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