Benefits of Transcribing Interviews
Find out who interview transcription is for, and how to make the most of it!
What are the benefits of transcribing interviews? And what is interview transcription anyway? Interview transcription is the process of typing up, in Word or a similar format, the words spoken by participants during recorded interviews.
Interview transcription helps the researcher better understand and analyse the content of the interviews, provides empirical and non-empirical evidence to the researcher, and in turn, helps inform and add weight to the research results and conclusions.
Typically, interview transcription is used by academics, researchers, Ph.D. students, research programs and institutions, and investigative bodies. Interview transcription topics are as varied as the types of research conducted.
The benefits of transcribing interviews are many and include:
- providing a written and accurate document of what was said, and by whom, which may last into perpetuity;
- providing documented evidence that adds credibility and integrity to the research and the researcher;
- freeing up the time of the facilitator to fully engage with the interview process and the interviewees, rather than being distracted by having to take notes, or remember everything that was said;
- providing the researcher (and safeguarding against any future legal challenges!) with an assurance that the direct quotes documented in the research are accurate and attributable;
- saving the researcher time, so they can concentrate on their research, rather than having to produce transcripts of the interviews;
- providing the researcher with a more streamlined, leaner transcript, without the distractions of side conversations or irrelevant, superfluous, or off-topic communication;
- facilitating opportunities for further collaboration between colleagues and other researchers; and
- providing opportunities for in-depth reflection by the researcher, which may elicit further insights into the research topic, and their own practice.
What are some real-world scenarios which show the benefits of transcribing interviews?
Scenario One: Ph.D. Student conducts interviews as a part of their theory-driven research, which results in the writing and publication of a book.
Did you know that there are many popular authors whose books had their genesis in the Ph.D. research of the author? Authors such as Stephen Hawking, Hannah Arendt, Jared Diamond, Richard Rhodes, Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, and Thomas Kuhn, to name a few, turned their Ph.D. theses into books.
The benefits of transcribing interviews for Ph.D. students means that the student has written transcripts of their interviews which document important data provided by experts, interviewees with lived experiences of their research topic, and others who contribute valuable information to the research process and results.
Often the Ph.D. student, after publishing their thesis, will go on to write a book on their research topic. Having a copy of the interview transcripts at hand forms an integral part of the writing process, and can further facilitate the successful publication of the book.
Scenario Two: Employer conducting applicant interviews.
Did you know that many employers now record their applicant interviews and get the recordings transcribed, so they can more fully interrogate and assess each interview, afterward?
It is not easy recalling every little detail that was spoken or reading your hurriedly written notes taken during the interview. In this scenario, the benefits of transcribing interviews include helping employers further review the applicants after the interview is finished, thus refreshing their memory of what transpired. Having an interview transcript assists the employer to make the right employment choices for their company.
Scenario Three: Researchers interview people with lived experiences that inform the research topic.
Many researchers who conduct a qualitative analysis of their research spend literally hundreds of hours interviewing people directly associated with their research topic. These interviews are transcribed, so the researcher has later access to the details of each interview.
Further, the interview transcripts can be analysed using qualitative analysis software, improving the researcher’s understanding of the data, and assisting them in drawing logical and empirically-based conclusions.
While interview transcription can be done by researchers themselves; it is much more efficient, practical, and easier to engage a professional transcription company to provide this service.
What’s more, the researcher no longer has to worry about style and format – leave that to the professionals! The professional transcription company will make sure the transcript is formatted correctly, so it is compatible with the qualitative analysis software being used by the researcher.
Discover the benefits of transcribing interviews with Pacific Transcription. We are here to help. Get in touch by phoning us at 1300 662 173 or online, to get started with transcription services. Why not reach out to Pacific Transcription for your next batch of interview transcription?