How to Transcribe an Interview for Qualitative Research

A detailed transcription of a qualitative research interview being turned into a structured text document for analysis.
Analyze your qualitative research interviews with transcription.

Transkriptor 2023-01-25

Transcribing spoken language from an interview into a written or typed format is known as interview transcription. Researchers can accurately analyze and interpret the qualitative data collected from their qualitative research interviews thanks to the proper type of transcription.

What is Qualitative Research?

A qualitative research project entails gathering and analyzing non-numerical data in order to understand concepts, opinions, or experiences better. It can be used to gain in-depth insights into a problem or to generate new research ideas.

How to Make Qualitative Data Analysis?

Texts, photos, video files, and audio can all be used to collect qualitative research data. You could be working with interview transcripts based on qualitative study and qualitative inquiry. The following five steps are common to most types of qualitative data analysis :

  • Prepare and organize your information. This could include research interview transcription or typing up field notes.
  • Examine and investigate your data. Examine the interview data for patterns or recurring ideas by revealing biases.
  • Create a data coding system. Create a set of codes that you can use to categorize your data based on your initial ideas.
  • Data should be coded. In qualitative survey analysis, for example, this may entail going through each participant’s responses and tagging them with codes in a spreadsheet. You can create new codes to add to your system as you go through your data.
  • Determine recurring themes. Connect codes to form cohesive, overarching themes.

There are several methods for analyzing qualitative data. Despite the fact that these methodologies/methods use similar research processes, they emphasize different concepts.

What are the Qualitative research methods?

Each research approach involves the use of one or more data collection methods. Some of the most common qualitative methods are as follows:

  • Observations: take detailed field notes on what you see, hear, or encounter.
  • Interviews: are one-on-one conversations in which you ask respondents questions.
  • Focus groups: a group of people who are asked questions and have a discussion.
  • Surveys: involve the distribution of questionnaires with open-ended questions.
  • Secondary research: entails gathering previously collected qualitative data analyses in texts, images, audio or video recordings, and so on.
Qualitative Research
Qualitative Research

Why Should You Choose Qualitative Research?

Qualitative research often tries to preserve the voice and perspective of participants and can be adjusted as new research questions arise. Qualitative research is suitable for:

  • Flexibility

The data collection and analysis process can be adapted as new ideas or patterns emerge. They are not rigidly decided beforehand.

  • Natural settings

Data collection occurs in real-world contexts or in naturalistic ways.

  • Meaningful insights

Detailed descriptions of people’s experiences, feelings, and perceptions can be used in designing, testing, or improving systems or products.

What is an Interview?

An interview is a qualitative research method that relies on asking questions to collect data. Interviews involve two or more people, one of whom is the interviewer asking the questions.

How to Prepare an Interview for Qualitative Research?

Before starting the process of transcription, follow the steps below:

  1. Before you begin, determine what you need from the interview transcription.
  2. Determine what you want from your transcript and how it will affect the process.
  3. Choose your transcription needs.

Begin by selecting your transcription template needs and viewing the highest accuracy guaranteed services.

  1. Use the right tools

If you don’t have the right tools, creating your transcription will be much more difficult and takes a lot of time. It is time-consuming because of typing speed. You will need, at the very least:

  • Noise-canceling headphones — Background noise can be a hindrance to accurate transcription. Noise-canceling headphones can help you focus more on the audio.
  • Your computer — You don’t need a powerful computer to convert audio to text. Remember that transcription may take three to four times as long as the audio file itself.
  • Transcription software/transcription services — You can type and control the recording without switching between programs if you use a dedicated software solution.
  1. How much detail will you require?

As previously stated, the purpose of the transcription will determine the level of detail required. You have several options available to you, including:

  • Full-Verbatim transcription – The interview in its raw form, including filler words “umms,” “ahs,” pauses, false starts, and other verbal tics.
  • Intelligent Verbatim – Also known as verbatim,’ ‘clean verbatim,’ or ‘word-for-word,’ this is a slightly more polished version of the full-verbatim script.
  • Detailed Notes — The interview is reduced to a series of detailed notes that allow you to quickly access the information you need without having to parse large chunks of text.

How to Transcribe an Interview for Qualitative Research

Whether you’re transcribing an interview, focus group, or observation, the following steps will help you to get qualitative interview transcription:

1. Prepare for the transcription process

See above.

2. Record the interview

To record the interview, use a high-quality recording device, such as a digital voice recorder or a video camera. A dedicated voice recorder will improve the audio quality, producing a more accurate transcript.

3. Be mindful of confidentiality

If the interviewee has requested that their identity be kept private, it is critical that the transcript not reveal their identity.

4. Listen to the recording and start transcribing

Begin transcribing the interview by listening to the recording and typing voices. It is essential to transcribe the interview verbatim.

5. Use transcription software or online tools

There are several transcription software programs and online tools, as well as transcription services, that can make the transcription process easier and more efficient. After you upload your video or audio recording, they provide automatic transcription.

These tools often include features such as automatic timestamps, the ability to play the recording at different speeds, and the ability to insert speaker identification tags. Also, some of them give qualitative data analysis/ qualitative analysis.

6. Follow a specific transcription style

There are several different transcription styles. It is important to choose a specific style and follow it consistently throughout the transcription process. You can also use methods such as content analysis, thematic analysis, or discourse analysis.

7. Proofread the transcript

After transcribing the entire interview, it is essential to review and edit the transcript for accuracy and clarity. This may involve going back and listening to the recording again to verify the transcription, as well as formatting the transcript in a way that is easy to read and understand.

Use Ellipses to indicate when the participant is trailing off or has a longer pause at the beginning of a sentence and expresses an omission.

8. Format it to your needs

You should now have a completely accurate and polished written text (even if it took time). It’s now just a matter of formatting it to your specifications and ensuring it serves its intended purpose. Now, you have a recorded interview.

Frequently asked questions

There are different questions about qualitative research. We tried the answered the most common ones.

As it tries to understand human behavior and the factors that influence it, qualitative research is essentially subjective in nature. Also,in this form of research method, researchers have a tendency to become subjectively involved in the topic matter.

When selecting whether to employ qualitative or quantitative data, a good rule of thumb is:

If you want to confirm or test something, conduct quantitative research (a theory or hypothesis)

If you want to learn more about anything, conduct qualitative research (concepts, thoughts, experiences)

We know how long qualitative research interviews take, so start transcribing in minutes with the Transkriptor .

Share Post

Speech to Text



Convert your audio and video files to text

Try It For Free