Are you a journalist? If so, you have an exciting job.
You meet and speak to people from every walk of life. You write about everyone — from the local restaurant owner to a Wall Street mogul. And you get all of your compelling information through a series of interviews.
The digital age is making a journalist’s life easier. No longer do you have to scribble down words and ideas from your interview subjects. Today, you can record the interview and either edit the footage or transcribe it to text.
But how should you record them? Here’s what to look for when recording interviews.
The Type of Interview Format Is Essential
These days, journalism doesn’t only encompass newspapers. The digital world opened up a slew of WordPress, social media, YouTube, and podcast journalists.
The interview medium you use greatly depends on the way you record interviews. Here are popular interview mediums:
Let’s go into each of these and gain a better understanding of these interview formats and how to record the interviews.
Recording audio interviews give you the most options and the most flexibility. While audio recorders are still used and are still effective, you have even more options when recording audio interviews.
When Should You Conduct Audio Interviews?
Audio interviews are becoming a popular interviewing option. The journalist can easily meet with the subject face-to-face or call them on the phone or Skype and record the interview.
Podcasts are becoming extremely popular or internet radio shows that gain listeners and subscribers. Podcast hosts benefit greatly from recording calls and interviews with their subjects.
You can also upload your audio interviews on YouTube, SoundCloud, and social media platforms such as Facebook.
What to Look for in an Audio Recording Device
Just about every smartphone comes with its own voice recorder. You can meet with your interview subject, record the interview, and transfer the audio files to your computer or transcriber service.
Does your smartphone not come with an audio recorder? Or do you not like your phone’s audio recorder? There are many apps that offer audio recording.
Most of these apps are free, but the paid ones offer more benefits. These apps can even record your whole call and some even offer transcription in the app.
Audio recording apps may not work while you’re on a call unless they specify that they do.
In that case, it’s best to use a separate device. Most journalists go for the good ol’ fashioned audio recorders. Many come with features, such as an internal USB plug.
Written interviews are some of the most common ways to publish an interview. You can either get quote or two from your subject or you can conduct a whole interview and write it in Q&A format.
When Should You Conduct a Written Interview?
Written interviews are the standard in the journalism industry. You will read an interview in a newspaper, a magazine, a blog, and anywhere that publishes content.
Written interviews require a different skill set than audio and video interviews, where you’re expected to be a good host and conversationalist.
Written interviews require powerful writing skills and expert grammar knowledge. You’ll deal with interview subjects who may make spelling and grammatical errors.
If you’re recording the interview on audio, it’s common for your subject to use filler words or use contradictions. These don’t look good in an article, so it’s your job to revise and perfect these errors.
What to Look for in a Written Interview Recording Device
The easiest way to conduct a written interview is over email. You can type out the questions, send them over, and then your interview subject can respond with the answers.
But this doesn’t work out in every scenario.
Audio interviews may be the quickest and most convenient way to interview someone. But writers need to look for different audio recording features than someone who owns a podcast or radio show.
Your best bet is buying a smartphone app that can transcribe the interview as well as record it.
Do you conduct interviews over the phone? It’s best to get a separate voice recorder.
To ease the transcribing process, you’ll need interview transcription services. They cost money but they save you a lot of time.
You can also see if you can find a desktop app that records and transcribes interviews.
With the popularity of video content, more journalists are switching their mediums from writing and audio over to video. But conducting video interviews requires more equipment than audio and written interviews.
When Should You Conduct a Video Interview?
You should conduct video interviews because you love video and love the interacting and conversational aspect of interviews.
Video interviews are also beneficial if you interview major public figures, such as celebrities and athletes. These figures have a huge fanbase who will want to see their idols during press interviews.
But you truly have to love video. A lot goes into the perfect video interview.
What to Look for in a Video Recording Device
At the bare minimum, you need a camera. Entry-level DSLRs are technically for photos, but most of them can record video. You can buy these at an affordable price and then upgrade if you feel it’s necessary.
These cameras also have an internal microphone but there’s no guarantee you can pick up the audio from the interview. It’s best to use a voice recorder or buy a microphone.
You can find affordable microphones, as long as they can fit the microphone jack in your camera (it’s usually 3.5 mm).
There is also other gear that can help out the video recording process. This includes:
- Extra batteries and memory cards
As you conduct more video interviews, you’ll learn how much gear you need.
Recording Interviews Is Easy!
Are you ready to start recording interviews? If you know how to record interviews but don’t know which gear to buy, check out our product reviews section.