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Meeting Tips

How to Record Interviews [In-Person & Online]

Published
November 30, 2023
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7
Min Read
Last updated
March 21, 2024
Jenna Pitkälä
How to Record Interviews [In-Person & Online]
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Looking for the simplest method to record your in-person or online interview's audio, complete with a transcript and summary? You're in the right place.

What unites all types of interviews is the hassle of trying to listen carefully to the interviewee and replying to their insights while also writing down their replies accurately for later reference.

Of course, that's why recording interviews has become so popular.

Unless you need to capture presentation slides or film facial reactions for a podcast, audio-only recording is the best way to go. This way the process from recording to dissecting the insights becomes faster and cheaper.

Recording audio only can often make interviewees more comfortable, as they might be more willing to participate without the pressure of being on video. This comfort can lead to a more natural and open conversation. In this blog, we won't be focusing on recording video interviews.

How to Record Audio of In-Person Interviews

  1. Sign in or log in to Wudpecker with a Google or Microsoft account.
  2. Open Wudpecker and select 'Record In-person' from the sidebar.
  3. Hit the 'Record' button to start.
  4. If a notification pops up, give Wudpecker permission to use your microphone.
  5. Conduct your interview, letting Wudpecker handle the notetaking.
  6. You can pause the recording and continue at any time.
  7. Press 'Stop recording' once the interview concludes.
  8. Name the meeting and save it by selecting 'Save meeting'.
  9. In no time, you'll access the notes, transcript, and audio recording. You can share them easily and even ask AI for more insights from the conversation.
Screenshot of Wudpecker's app's in-person recording view

Note: Wudpecker won't save meetings under 2 minutes.

How to Record Audio of Online Interviews

Choose a Stable Internet Connection

Consistent Connection:

Ensure a reliable and fast internet connection.This is important not just for maintaining the flow of conversation but also for ensuring the audio and video quality remain high throughout the interview.

Before the interview, running a quick speed test can give you an idea of your upload and download speeds, and you can adjust your setup accordingly.

Wired Over Wireless:

Whenever possible, opt for a wired internet connection over Wi-Fi. A wired connection, such as Ethernet, typically offers greater stability and less susceptibility to interference. Consider setting up your interview space close to your router to directly connect your computer via an Ethernet cable. This simple step can significantly improve the reliability of your connection.

Backup Connectivity Plans:

In addition to your primary internet connection, have a backup plan in place. This could be a secondary Wi-Fi network, a mobile hotspot, or even a data plan on your smartphone that can be used as a tethering device. For instance, if your home Wi-Fi suddenly fails, you can quickly switch to your phone's hotspot to continue the interview without significant interruption.

If you're meeting over Zoom, Teams or Google Meet...

Use Wudpecker for recording in these easy steps:

  1. Sign up for Wudpecker.
  2. Make sure your meeting shows up in your account and the notetaker is able to join it. The meeting has to have a virtual meeting link in its location.
  3. Admit the notetaker in your virtual meeting.
  4. Access the meeting notes and transcription shortly after the meeting in your account. They stay safely stored in your account unless you remove them.

Extra Tips for Good Quality Interviews

Preparations for the Interview

What to Say:

Before the interview, invest time in researching and understanding the topic at hand. For instance, if you're interviewing an expert in renewable energy, read up on the latest trends and developments in the field.

Depending on the type of interview, you might also have to learn about the interviewee's background. This preparation allows you to ask informed and relevant questions that can elicit insightful responses.

Having a rough script or a planned flow for the interview helps in maintaining structure and ensuring that all critical points are covered.

This script should outline the key topics you wish to discuss and include both general and specific questions. However, it’s important to remain flexible; the script is a guide, not a strict itinerary.

Open-ended questions starting with 'how', 'why', or 'can you describe' are useful for prompting expansive answers. For example, instead of asking, "Do you think renewable energy is important?" you might ask, "How do you see renewable energy shaping the future of global energy policies?"

Think about how you’ll transition from one topic to another. Smooth transitions keep the interview flowing naturally and maintain listener interest. For instance, after discussing a particular project, you might segue to a related topic by saying, "Speaking of innovations in renewable energy, I’m curious about your thoughts on recent policy changes."

Prepare Your Location:

Selecting a quiet location is essential to minimize background noises that can distract both you and the interviewee, and interfere with the recording quality.

It's not just about finding a silent room, but also about ensuring that interruptions are minimized. For instance, if you're at home, inform family members or roommates about your interview schedule to avoid unexpected noise.

Consider turning off notifications on your devices and closing windows to block outside sounds.

Ensure the space is appropriately sized for comfort and sound quality. Rooms that are too big cause echo and rooms that are not big enough can feel claustrophobic.

Echoes are common in rooms with hard surfaces, so choose spaces with carpets or soft furnishings that absorb sound. If in an empty space, hanging curtains or placing cushions can improve acoustics.

Technical Preparations:

Have a backup recording method in case of platform failure.

Ensure your device is plugged in or has enough battery life to last the entire interview.

Position the microphone to capture clear audio without unwanted noise.

Ensure devices like digital voice recorders or cell phones with voice recording apps are charged and functional.

A test recording helps adjust audio levels and identify any potential issues.

Pre-Interview Briefing:

Before diving into the questions, take a moment to walk the interviewee through the process. This includes explaining the format of the interview, the types of questions you'll be asking, and the estimated duration.

"We'll start with some background questions, then move into more specific topics. The interview should take about 30 minutes."

It's also essential to obtain consent for recording the interview.

"Is it alright if I record our conversation for accuracy in documentation?"

During the Interview

Engagement and Body Language:

The way you engage with the interviewee can significantly impact the quality of the conversation. Show genuine interest in their responses; nodding or giving verbal affirmations like "I see" or "That's interesting" can encourage them to share more.

If the interviewee brings up an intriguing point or shares an unexpected insight, don't hesitate to veer off script to explore that topic further. This approach not only adds depth to the interview but also makes the interviewee feel heard and valued.

"That's a fascinating point; I hadn't considered that. Why do you think that is?"
"How do you see this evolving in the next few years?"
"Let me get this right. So basically it's the same as..."

At the same time, let's not forget that you might have to cover at least a few top priority topics. In the case that you're likely to steer off topic too much, having a script next to you can remind you of the intended structure. It's important to find a balance between planned and impromptu conversations.

Be aware of your body language as well; maintaining an open posture and regular eye contact gives a sense of trust and comfort.

In an online interview, make sure to look at the camera to simulate eye contact. These small gestures can create a more relaxed and conducive atmosphere for open communication.

Interruption Plan:

Stay calm during interruptions, pausing and resuming the recording as needed. You can simply pause the recording and address the interruption with a polite, "Just one moment, please."

If the interruption is brief, you can then resume the interview with a gentle reiteration of the last point or question to refocus the conversation.

"As we were discussing the impact of social media on marketing strategies, you mentioned...".

Always have a secondary recording method in case of technical issues.

Ending the Interview

Always end the interview with a note of gratitude. Thank the interviewee for their time and insights.

"Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us today, your input has been incredibly valuable."

For better transparency, clearly inform the interviewee when the recording has stopped. This can be as simple as stating, "I've stopped the recording now."

Promptly save and back up the recording to secure the data. If you use Wudpecker, the recording and transcript are automatically saved in cloud storage.

After the interview, review the recording. Listen for any areas that may need editing for clarity or to remove unnecessary segments.

If possible, gather feedback from the interviewee or a third party. This feedback can be instrumental in improving your interview technique and ensuring the final recording accurately reflects the intended message and quality. You can also use the Ask Wudpecker feature to get fast replies from AI.

"How did you find the overall flow of the conversation?"

Finally, take some time to reflect on your own performance. Consider what went well and what could be improved.

Did you follow the script too rigidly, or did you manage to adapt fluidly to the conversation? Self-reflection is a key component in growing your skills as an interviewer.

Conclusion

There's a lot of important steps to a successful interview recording, whether the interview takes place face to face or online. It's not just about asking the right questions; you need to also think about practicalities with the space and equipment, and what to do if things don't go according to plan.

Hopefully with the tips we provided your interview process will feel like a walk in the park!

FAQs

Is it Acceptable to Record an Interview?

Yes, it is generally acceptable to record an interview, but it's crucial to obtain consent from the interviewee beforehand. In many jurisdictions, it's legally required to inform the interviewee that the session is being recorded. Transparency and respect for privacy with audio and video files are key in this process.

What is the Best Way of Recording an Interview Session?

The best way to go about recording interviews depends on the context and resources available. For in-person interviews, using a high-quality digital voice recorder or a professional microphone setup is ideal.

For remote interviews, reliable video conferencing tools with built-in recording features work well. Regardless of the method, ensuring good sound quality, minimizing background noise, and testing equipment beforehand are essential steps.

For both on-site and online interviews, it's optimal to use AI tools like Wudpecker, if you want something on top of the mere audio recording. Wudpecker not only records the audio, but it also generates a transcript and summary of the interview.

And that's not all; it also allows you to ask questions and gain insights about the interview (for example: "How could I have approached topic X in a more discreet way?")

What is the Recording of the Interview Called?

The recording of the interview is typically referred to as a 'recorded interview' or 'interview recording'. In contexts where both audio and video are captured, it may be called a 'video interview recording' or 'audio interview recording', depending on the format.

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How to Record Interviews [In-Person & Online]
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How to Record Interviews [In-Person & Online]
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