Conducting and Recording Interviews

There are a variety of reasons for interviewing in a medical setting, including research purposes and legal documentation. It’s best to plan ahead to achieve the best possible transcription of the interview.

Multiple Person Interviews

This type of interview usually requires specialized equipment that records each voice on a separate track. Each track is transcribed individually, then interview software ‘interleaves’ the transcripts into the correct order for which each person spoke.  

Charges are usually based on the length of the interview and the number of persons speaking.  The transcription company wants to have each person state and spell their name and the number of the microphone where they are sitting. They will also usually ask for the list of questions that the interviewer will be asking.

This is not usually outsourced to a medical transcription company unless they specifically state that they do this type of transcription.

One-on-One Interviews

These are by far the most common type of medical interviews. They are usually done using a digital recorder with an external microphone to pick up both voices. Some medical transcription companies offer this service in addition to standard medical transcription. Check with the company before doing the interview(s) to see if they have any specific requirements.

Best Practices

Test before going live. Interview one of your employees or a family member to find out if the quality of the recording will be sufficient for a quality transcript. The best choice is to try a dry run in the environment that you’ll be interviewing in to ensure you know what all the challenges may be, and work to eliminate them.

Secure a quiet environment. Because the recorder will pick up all the ambient noise in the background, including other people talking, papers rustling, music playing, telephones ringing, and babies crying in the waiting room. It’s best to seek out a quiet space. If an unexpected noise occurs during the recording, try repeating the question or answer to ensure it’s audible.

Cell phones. It goes without saying that they should be turned off during the recording.

Batteries. Make sure you have a spare set of batteries before you begin recording (and have them handy).

Mumbling. Don’t hesitate to ask someone to repeat themselves. If you think the recording of the person’s answer is not clear ask them to restate their answer.

While recording, no gum chewing, and no eating. If someone is drinking, wait until they put the glass down before asking the question or eliciting an answer. Also, try not to move or rustle papers.

Specialized vocabulary. If you have particular words, phrases or proper names that you’ll be using, provide a list of these to the transcription company.

At 2Ascribe, we offer transcription for one-on-one interviews (two people maximum). Please contact us beforehand so we can best determine how to set this up for you.

2Ascribe Inc. is a medical transcription services agency located in Toronto, Ontario Canada, providing medical transcription services to physicians, clinics and other healthcare providers across Canada and the US.  Having recently introduced WEBscribe, a client interface portal for document management, 2Ascribe continues to implement and develop technology to assist and improve the transcription process for physicians and other healthcare providers.  As a service to our clients and the healthcare industry, 2Ascribe offers articles of interest to physicians and other healthcare professionals, medical transcriptionists and office staff, as well as of general interest. Find additional articles at

You might also enjoy

AI Bias

The results created by an AI model can be considered