Telephone recording for interviews – Top Seven Tips
This article provides some suggestions as to how to get the most from your telephone interview. It is not an article about the technical detail of how to record, because that depends very much on the type of phone you’re using etc.
This is not an article about how the technical detail of how to record, because that depends very much on the type of phone you’re using etc. This is simply some suggestions as to how to get the most from your telephone interview.
1. ALWAYS make sure you ask the interviewee’s permission before you record. It is illegal in many countries to make a telephone recording without doing this first. It’s sensible to do this prior to starting the interview itself … in case they say no!
2. Although these tips are not about recording equipment, do make sure that whatever equipment you get is right for the phone you will be recording from!
3. Make sure the person you’re planning to interview is expecting your call at a particular time, and make sure you know who’s ringing who and what the preferred number is e.g. office, home or mobile.
4. In order to save everyone time and yourself telephone costs, send your interview some information in advance about your research topic, perhaps including a rough interview guide. This can also save transcription costs because you won’t be having the initial preamble transcribed, although a good transcriptionist will always start and finish the transcription in a specific place if you remember to ask in advance!
5. Try to include in your advanced information, especially if you are contacting your interviewee by mobile, a suggestion that s/he finds somewhere quiet to conduct the interview, and make sure you do the same. Background noise will severely reduce the quality of the recording and may actually mean it’s not possible to transcribe it with any level of accuracy.
6. Test your equipment! Whether you’re using an analogue or digital landline, a mobile or VOIP make sure you’ve tested in advance, preferably calling the same type of phone that your interviewee has asked you to call on. E.g. if they have asked you to call their mobile, call a friend’s mobile prior to the interview and check that you get a successful recording. The most likely problem is echo, especially when calling internationally, so check out your recording equipment to see if there’s anything you can do to reduce this.
7. If the recording is not going well due to signal problems don’t be afraid to ask if it’s OK to call them back on another number for the remainder of the interview.
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Penguin Transcription is part of Penguin Office Services, www.penguinofficeservices.co.uk, and offers an affordable transcription service by tailoring each quote to the exact requirements of the client. The more information the client can provide us with, and the better the quality of the recording for transcription, the more affordable the transcription service will be. Why not visit our site, www.penguin-transcription.co.uk, and fill in an enquiry form to receive a quote for your transcription requirements.