Table 4

Suggestions for successful audio recording of interviews

ClarityAudio-recording equipment should clearly capture the interview so that both interviewer’s and interviewee’s voices are easily heard for transcription. Many interviewers use small battery-powered recorders but sometimes the microphones do not work well.
ReliableAudio-recording equipment needs to be reliable and easy to use. Increasingly, researchers are using their smartphones to record interviews.
FamiliarityWhatever kind of recording equipment is used, the researcher needs to be familiar with it and should test it at the interview location before starting the actual interview—you do not want to be fumbling with technology during the interview.
BackupIf you are the sole interviewer and do not have an additional person taking notes, we recommend having two recording devices for each interview in case one device fails or runs out of batteries. Make sure to bring extra batteries.
Note-takingSome researchers recommend taking notes or having a partner take notes during the interviews in addition to the audio recording. Taking notes can ensure that all interview questions have been answered, guide follow-up questions so that the interview can flow from the interviewee’s lead and serve as a backup in the case of malfunctioning recorders.