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All About Interview Transcription

The first obvious question - What is Interview Transcription? It is a process of converting the verbal portion of the interview i.e. the questions asked by the interviewer and the answers given by the interviewee, into text format. The text can be of 2 types depending on the typing medium used – Digital Text Formats , examples include PDF files, MS Word Documents, RTF files and even HTML output. The second type of text format is the Analog one – Typewriter. Analog text formats are rarely used today except in a few developing countries owing to the cheap cost of typewriters.

Besides converting the verbal part into text, there is one more important process that is a part of interview transcription – Proofreading. Proofreading is a process of going through the documents several times, checking for errors and correcting them. Errors can include spelling mistakes, missing punctuations, slang language and capitalizations. Once the document has been thoroughly proofread, the file can then be sent to the owner thus completing the process of Interview Transcription.

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Who needs Interview Transcription? The obvious answer is Interviewers. But there are many other parties that need Interview Transcription Services besides interviewers. These are – News broadcasting agencies - So that they can backup a transcript of all the aired interviews or make them available to the readers in their newspapers or online. Government Agencies – Government agencies conduct interviews for Interrogation, Promotions, and Internal Reports and for Press Releases. In such cases government agencies prefer to employ a transcriber rather than contracting an external transcription service company. Online Video Channels - Video channels need captioning services for their videos. Captions help to target a wider audience specially those who are hard of hearing. Captions can be converted into other languages thus making the interviews accessible to all. Freelancers – Many people have started working from home or a working independently as freelance interviewers. Most of the interviewers are required to travel a lot thus leaving them with very little spare times. Hence they hire a transcription service provider who takes care of all their transcription services.

So why do you need to Transcriber your Interviews – Top 10 reasons 1. Text transcripts are easier to publish online, specifically to blogs, website, forums and as RSS feeds. 2. Reading a transcript is much faster that listening to the whole interview. 3. Mp3 files may become corrupt over a period of time. Hence having a text version of the interview can be useful for backup purposes. 4. Mp3 files are difficult to backup because of their large size. Text files can be protected from unsolicited changes, and can be easily backed up on a pen drive or CD owing to their small sizes. 5. Search Engine Optimization – Search engine robots can easily index and understand text. So blog or podcast owners can rank higher in search engines (SERP) for specific keywords if they have a transcript section on their blog of podcast site.

Current Transcription Prices

There was a time (6 -7 years ago) when transcribing a 1 hour interview file cost 300 to 400 dollars. Now the prices of transcription services have come down considerably. Nowadays, Transcription Service Companies may charge anywhere between 45 to 150 dollars depending on the urgency of delivery. Hiring a transcription service may not be sensible or feasible for all people. In case you have smaller audio files, typically less than 30 minutes, then it is advisable to transcribe the audio by yourself. For larger audios, more than 1 or 2 hours, then it is recommended that you hire a transcription service provider. Most of the people have this notion that transcription is an easy job. Actually it’s the other way round. A typical 1 hour audio needs at least 4-5 hours of work if you have a typing speed of 80 words per

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minute. For People with slower typing speeds (30 to 40 words per minute), transcribing a 1 hour audio may take anywhere from 10 to 14 hours, excluding the process of proof reading. Proofreading a document takes anywhere between 20 to 40 minutes depending on the amount of corrections needed.


Interview Transcription services has many benefits as discussed earlier. Even if you are not an interviewer but have lots of audio files that need to be transcribed, don even bother doing it yourself. It’s not worth the hassle. It’s better left to people who are professionals and know their job.

Summary –

Many people foresee the need of transcription services. Interview transcription is one such example. In this article we discuss which parties need transcription services, the top 5 reasons to get interviews transcribed and the current prices of interview transcription services.

About the Author

Written By- Joshua Schmidt. Joshua Schmidt has been providing interview transcription services to a variety of journalists, news agencies and freelance for the past several years. Website – Interview Transcription Services -

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Interview transcriber  

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