July 2023


How to Transcribe an Interview in 3 Simple Steps

Do you want to know how to transcribe your next interview much faster and even cheaper? Then this blog post is exactly for you. We will show you what tools you can use and give you a simple step by step approach.

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Today, we’ll show you how to create an accurate transcription of your interview without:

  • waiting hours for it to be ready,
  • robing a bank,
  • having to outsource it to someone else.

Sounds impossible? Well, it's not, thanks to the magic of the latest AI technology.

But to keep everything fair, we won't just sing praises of AI. We'll also be comparing machine and human transcription processes to help you identify which best suits your needs.

Ready to dive into the details? Let's get started!

How to Transcribe an Interview? (Using AI)

Step #1: Choose the Right Software

It all starts with the right transcription software. With a lot of different options available, we'll highlight a few top choices to help you make the best decision:

  • Jamie: jamie is an AI meeting assistant that uses the power of Large Language Models and AI to create outstanding transcripts, summaries, action items, and more. jamie works across all platforms and even in an offline setting.
  • Otter AI: Otter is an AI-driven tool designed to take notes and transcribe meetings. Otter is compatible with popular platforms such as Google Meet, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams and can also provide live summaries for quick transcript navigation.
  • Descript: Descript is a tool primarily geared towards podcast and video creation with a convenient editing system. It also allows you to create clips and transcriptions in just a few minutes. Transcriptions can be automated with AI or professionally transcribed by humans.
  • Fireflies.ai: Fireflies is another AI-powered app engineered to analyze, transcribe, and summarize all of your voice interactions, including interviews. It captures your video and audio, generating precise transcripts in minutes. It also works seamlessly with many meeting apps like Google Meet or Zoom.
  • Rev: Rev is a reliable, user-friendly transcription software offering both AI and human-generated transcription. It provides an efficient collaborative workspace where you can add subtitles, captions, and edit within the platform. Rev's powerful AI can even discern accents and dialects.
  • Podcastle.ai: Podcastle is an all-in-one audio recording, editing, and enhancement platform that also offers a robust AI-powered transcriber and text-to-speech converter. It gives you accurate transcriptions with just one click and is also a great tool if you want to experiment with AI voice skins and turn your script into audio automatically.

As you can see, transcribing isn't the only feature these tools offer. Many provide additional functionalities, including video editing, note-taking, and meeting reviews. So, make sure to consider all your needs before making your choice.

In this article, we'll be using jamie as the tool for demonstration. But the process is quite similar across most transcription tools, so don't worry.

Now, once you pick the right software, the next step is to create an account. All these tools offer free trials, giving you the chance to experiment with various options and discover the one that meets your needs best.

Jamie - An AI Meeting Assistant

Step #2: Record Your Interview

The next step is recording your interview. You can do this in jamie by simply hitting start jamie.

jamie - AI meeting assistant that summarizes all your meetings

Some platforms also allow you to upload an already existing file. Most of these tools support popular formats for both audio and video, such as .mp3 or .wav.

Of course, this is assuming that you already have your recording file ready and downloaded. But if you're preparing for an upcoming meeting, don't worry - you can use these platforms to record your meetings and have them transcribed automatically in real time.

You can use a custom template to create even better results in jamie and other tools. Templates can help you tailor your summaries to your needs and tell jamie exactly what information is important for you.

jamie - creating a custom template

Step #3: Review and Make Edits if Necessary

At this stage, your transcription and summary should be ready and automatically generated by AI. Now it's time for the last step - ensure accuracy through proofreading and double-checking.

Once you've confirmed everything is correct, you can confidently copy and paste the transcription and summary into a Word document or any other platform.

Good job! You've completed the process of transcribing and generating a summary of an interview using AI software.

overview of notes of AI meeting assistant jamie

How to Transcribe an Interview? (DIY Method)

person typing on a typewriter machine

If you'd rather roll up your sleeves and transcribe an interview on your own, that's also perfectly fine! Maybe you want to add a personal touch or save some cash. Whatever the reason, manually transcribing interviews is also an option. However, be prepared: it can be a time-consuming process, taking up to several hours or more, depending on the length of your interview.

To make things easier, let's walk through the step-by-step process of writing interview transcripts.

Step #1: Familiarize Yourself with the Interview

Kick-start your transcription process by first understanding the details of your interview - participants, length, and main topics. This knowledge will help you estimate the time you'll need to allocate for transcribing and prevent any surprise "marathon sessions."

Step #2: Choose Your Transcription Style

Picking your transcription style can make a massive difference to your final result. Here are your two main choices:

Verbatim Transcription:

  • Includes every single word as spoken, even the 'uh's and 'um's.
  • Captures all repetitions and non-verbal cues like laughter.
  • Ideal for when you need an exhaustive account, such as for legal or research purposes.

Intelligent Verbatim Transcription:

  • Cleans up speech, removing fillers and non-verbal cues.
  • Ensures a more readable, easily understandable transcript.
  • Perfect for general use like business meetings, where clarity is key.

Remember, it all depends on what you need from your transcript. Choose the method that best aligns with your requirements!

Step #3: Equip Yourself with the Right Tools

Tools for the interview transcription process

Even though you're not using AI interview transcription software, you still need a few essential tools:

  1. Playback Software: A user-friendly software that allows easy pausing and rewinding. It's crucial for the transcription process.
  2. Headphones: A good pair will ensure you catch every word and inflection.
  3. Text Editor: Having an intuitive text editor is also important as you will need to do a lot of writing.

Step #4: Dive into Transcribing

Now, the real work begins. Break the interview down into manageable sections and start transcribing.

To maintain clarity, label each speaker. If you encounter any tricky phrases or unclear words, don't worry! Highlight them and move on - you can always revisit these parts later.

At this stage, perfection isn't your goal. Your focus should be on capturing the essence of the conversation. Don't hesitate to take frequent breaks to refresh your mind - they're part of the process!

Step #5: Edit Your Transcript

Once you've transcribed the entire interview, it's time to refine it. Check for two things:

  1. Consistency: Ensure your spelling and grammar are spot on and the style remains consistent.
  2. Accuracy: Make sure the words match what's said in the audio. If anything was unclear during the initial transcribing, now's the time to clarify and correct.

Step #6: Proofread the Final Transcript

Think you're done after editing? Not so fast! One final step is proofreading. Carefully review your edited transcription and try to find any remaining errors. Remember, the devil's in the details.

It's a good idea to go through this step a few times. Each round will help you spot and correct errors you may have missed in the previous ones. Continue with this process until you come across a round where you don't find any mistakes - that's when you know your transcript is good to go.

AI vs. Human Transcription

AI vs. Human

So, we've walked through the process of creating an interview transcript using AI tools, but you might be wondering, "Should I use AI or a human transcription method?"

The answer is simple - it depends on your needs.

Let's be very honest here, AI software is faster and cheaper, but it isn't perfect yet. There are still some months/years to come until AI will have a 100% level of accuracy. This most often depends on the audio quality of the audio.

If you need a flawless transcript, you might want to consider using the services of a professional transcriptionist. They can provide you with precise transcripts, but it will cost more.

Automatic transcription using AI is an excellent option for those who can afford a slight margin of error in exchange for speed. It provides a quick way to get audio transcribed and is particularly cost-effective. This makes AI the ideal choice for those on a tight budget or with limited time.

Meeting Summary - A Great Alternative to Transcribing

If you need a formal transcript for legal purposes, then the process we've outlined above will serve you the best. However, if your goal is to analyze your interview or meeting, there's a simpler approach. Let me introduce you to jamie.

jamie and AI meeting assistant that summarizes meetings

jamie is your personal meeting assistant who takes care of summarizing everything for you. This means you can fully engage with your clients or team members, free from the labor-intensive task of note-taking. No more long transcripts to sift through; jamie gives you a quick overview, highlighting the key points discussed during the interview.

That way, you can save time and focus on what truly matters - the content of your conversations.

Final Words

And there you have it! You now know how to transcribe interviews in a few easy steps. Using AI software can be a cost-effective and quick method, but if you're aiming for 100% accuracy and don't mind spending a little more, professional transcription services are a great alternative.

Alternatively, you can also use jamie to quickly summarize and take notes of all your meetings and conversations in a fraction of the time it takes to transcribe. With this knowledge at your disposal, you're now ready to tackle any transcribing projects that come your way! 

Good luck!

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