Why transcribe interviews?

Transcribing interviews – many people think that it’s not necessary, but how many times have your notes or interpretation of what happened clash with the other party’s views? It can be essential, especially in grievance procedures, that each party has the same view of what happened. It can be difficult, as well, to take comprehensive notes when you want to give the other party your undivided attention. If you don’t, then your interviewee may feel sidelined or neglected and thus become disinterested in whatever you’re trying to put to them. Now, I know that most people would find it very disconcerting to have someone else sitting in the room with them when they’re possibly going through very sensitive issues – so why not ask them if you can record it? That way they don’t have the added pressure of someone else in the room, but you both get a verbatim, impartial and confidential account of what happened. ​Of course, if you don’t want a full transcript of what happened, you can always have them minuted, making it much easier to digest, especially with long meetings. Even if you don’t have them transcribed or minuted, it’s handy to have a recording because you can always refer back to it should any dispute rise.

Happy interviewing!​

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