Update: Here’s a more recent post on how to record phone interviews. 

Conducting research interviews over the phone and the internet has become really popular. Mainly because of the widespread use of smart phones and web based services (for instance freeconferencecall.com and Skype).

If you conduct your research interviews over the phone it’s important to record them. Why?

  •  Increase the rigor of you research by getting your research interviews transcribed
  •  Allows you to focus on the engagement with the interviewee.
  •  Avoid note taking

Here are a few things to keep in mind when recording phone interviews

Know and obey the law:

The laws for recording phone interviews vary from state to state, but they all require at a minimum that you inform the interviewee. As you are recording research interviews, your IRB requires that you get written consent to record the interview. Keep in mind that consent should be granted before you start recording the interview.

Do The Recording Yourself:

There are different online services that provide recording telephone interviews. But to record good quality interviews, I recommend you also make a recording of the interviews.

Listen Through The Recorder While Recording The Interview:

To be sure of your successful recording, it is good to listen to the recording through your recorder. Whether it may be your computer or any hand held device, you have to plug in the headphones into the recorder’s headphone jack.

Save Often While Recording:

Save while recording the interview. Also make sure you are recording the interview using 2 different methods. For instance using an app on your phone and a hand held recorder. Always have a backup plan!

Get a Thorough Knowledge of the Equipment:

I can’t over-stress this. Whatever  your recording setup, read the manuals of the equipment and understand their features and functions. This will prevent painful experiences of interview without recording or capturing low audio quality interviews that are difficult and costly to transcribe.

Stick to the Equipment that Functions Satisfactorily:

New recording software, gadgets and apps come to the market. Once you find something that works for you, stick to it. You may be tempted to get that new shinny app, but it might not perform to your expectations.

With those tips out of the way, let’s look at the step by step procedure for recording high quality phone interviews using landline, mobile or on your computer.

There are myriad of options you can use to record phone calls on your smart phone. Here are a few of them.

  1. Record Telephone Interview Using Android, iPhone or Landline Using Ipadio

– Sign up for ipadio account which is provided free. You have to pay only for the phone call. A dial in number as well as a pin is provided on getting sign up.

-Then call the interviewee.

– Dial into ipadio using + button.

– Now ipadio starts recording the complete conversation and save the data in MP3 for you to download later.

  1. Record a Telephone Interview Through Android, iPhone or Landline Using Call Trunk

This is a paid, but less expensive option to record telephone interviews. It also stores the audio files. It costs around 16 cents per minute.

– Sign up for Call Trunk.

– Using Call Trunk website enter your phone number and the phone number of the interviewee you are calling

– You will accept an automated call from the Call Trunk and within few seconds the interviewee would receive the call from Call Trunk

– The call will be recorded automatically and saved in mp3.

– You can download the recorded interview from Call Trunk account.

  1. Record Phone Interviews Using Voicemail In iPhones.

– The first step is to call the Interviewee.

– Then press the (+) switch of iPhone as well as dial your phone number.

– A voice mail message will be heard which is followed by beep sound. After the beep sound you can proceed with your phone interview.

– All the recordings will be done in the voice mail.

– Downloading of the recorded data can be done by running the mini-jack in the recording software as Audacity and you can play it in real time.

  1. Record Phone Interviews Through Android Phone Using Record My Call

Record My Call is a free app exclusively to Android that records phone interview. However, this app does not work in all handset and you have to verify before installing this app.

  1. Record Telephone Interview Using an digital Recorder and LandlineRecord phone interviews

A telephone adapter is compactly designed to tap the telephone calls from the telephone socket to mp3 recorder. This adapter costs around $20, just plug into digital recorder or your computer and record the interview.

  1. Record Phone Interviews Using Skype

Comparing to land line or mobile phone, Skype offers a great quality in recording the phone interviews and it’s free. To record using Skype the interviewee needs a Skype account & to sit before the computer. If the interviewee does not have Skype account, you can get Skype credit and make the phone calls at low rates. Skype is a good option to record international telephone interviews. You can download the recorder for your PC or MAC or you can record the telephone calls directly in the free Audacity software.

Here’s a more detailed post on how to record your Skype interviews.

Wrap up

Try out your recording setup to get acquainted with its functions. Get in touch if you need someone to assist you with a dummy call. Make sure it works before the actual interviews! Get consent from the interviewee before recording. Finally have fun.

Once you’ve recorded the interviews, I’ll be happy to transcribe them for you. Get in touch.

Leave a reply