Interview

17 Transcriptionist Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a transcriptionist, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Transcriptionists listen to audio recordings and convert them into written reports. This job is done entirely on a computer, which means you can work from anywhere as long as you have a good internet connection.

Transcription work is a great option for people who want to work from home, but it’s not always easy to get started. Before you can start transcribing, you need to have a strong understanding of grammar and punctuation, as well as the ability to type quickly and accurately. You also need to be able to understand different accents and speaking styles.

If you’re interested in becoming a transcriptionist, you’ll need to ace a transcription interview. This guide will give you an overview of the most common transcription interview questions and answers.

Are you familiar with the various types of transcription equipment?

The interviewer may ask this question to determine your level of experience with different types of transcription equipment. If you have worked as a transcriptionist before, describe the type of equipment you used and how it helped you complete your work. If you are new to the role, explain that you would be willing to learn about the various types of equipment.

Example: “I’ve worked as a freelance transcriptionist for several years now, so I am familiar with many different types of transcription equipment. In my previous position, I primarily used voice recognition software and foot pedals to transcribe audio files. These tools allowed me to focus on listening to the audio file while simultaneously typing out what I heard. This saved me time and allowed me to produce high-quality transcripts.”

What are the most important skills for a successful transcriptionist?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the skills necessary to succeed in this role. Use your answer to highlight your communication, organizational and time management skills. You may also want to mention any technical skills that are relevant to this position.

Example: “The most important skills for a successful transcriptionist are excellent listening skills, strong typing skills and attention to detail. These skills allow me to accurately transcribe what I hear on calls or recordings. In my last role as a freelance transcriptionist, I worked with many different clients who required varying levels of accuracy. For some clients, I would type verbatim while others preferred a more general summary of the call.”

How do you manage multiple projects at once?

Transcriptionists often work on multiple projects at the same time. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience working in a fast-paced environment and can manage your time effectively. In your answer, explain how you prioritize tasks and meet deadlines. Share an example of a time when you had to multitask and succeeded.

Example: “I find that I am most productive when I focus on one project at a time. However, if there is a tight deadline, I will sometimes take on two or three projects simultaneously. For instance, last month I was hired by a company to transcribe interviews for their podcast. The client needed all transcripts within 24 hours. I took on two other projects that day so I could get all three done as quickly as possible.”

What is your experience with using transcription software?

This question can help the interviewer determine your experience level and how you might fit into their company. If you have previous experience using transcription software, describe what kind of software you used and highlight any skills or knowledge that helped you use it effectively. If you don’t have prior experience with transcription software, you can still answer this question by describing your experience with other types of software.

Example: “I’ve worked as a freelance transcriptionist for five years now, so I’m very familiar with many different kinds of transcription software. In my last position, I primarily used Dragon NaturallySpeaking to transcribe audio files. This software is great because it allows me to dictate while listening to the audio file, which helps me stay focused on the task at hand.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to deal with a difficult speaker.

Interviewers may ask this question to see how you handle difficult situations. They want to know that you can remain calm and focused when faced with a challenging task. In your answer, try to show the interviewer that you are able to stay professional while still being empathetic to the speaker’s needs.

Example: “I once had a client who was very hard of hearing. He would often call me on the phone during sessions to repeat what I said. This made it difficult for me to concentrate on my work because he would talk over me as I tried to explain myself. Eventually, I asked him if we could use email instead of the phone so I could type out my responses more clearly. He agreed, and after that, our communication became much easier.”

If you were given a transcript with errors, how would you respond?

This question can help interviewers understand how you would respond to a mistake in your work. It can also show them how you handle responsibility and accountability. In your answer, try to explain what steps you would take to fix the error and prevent it from happening again.

Example: “If I were given a transcript with errors, I would first ask for clarification on which words or phrases are incorrect. Then, I would re-listen to the audio recording to ensure that I transcribed everything correctly. If there is still an error after this process, I would contact my supervisor immediately so they could review the transcript. After fixing the issue, I would make sure to double-check all of my work before submitting it.”

What would you do if you were assigned a project that required you to learn a new subject?

Transcriptionists may be asked to transcribe content that they are unfamiliar with. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the ability to learn new information quickly and efficiently. In your answer, explain how you would research the topic and complete the project on time.

Example: “If I was assigned a project that required me to learn about a subject I wasn’t familiar with, I would start by researching the basics of the subject. Then, I would find an online resource where I could listen to someone talk about the subject. This helps me understand the terminology used in the transcription. After that, I would practice typing what I hear until I am comfortable enough to do it without looking at my hands.”

How well can you hear?

Transcriptionists need to be able to hear clearly in order to transcribe accurately. Employers ask this question to make sure you can perform the job duties safely and effectively. In your answer, explain that you have excellent hearing and will take steps to ensure you stay safe while working.

Example: “I have a great sense of hearing, which is why I chose this career path. I am always careful when listening to audio files because it’s important to me to get every word right. If there are any words I miss, I go back and re-listen until I’m confident I got everything. I also wear headphones at all times so I don’t disturb anyone else.”

Do you have experience working with confidential information?

Transcriptionists often work with sensitive information, so employers ask this question to make sure you understand the importance of confidentiality. In your answer, explain that you will keep all confidential information private and safe. You can also mention any specific security measures you use to protect data.

Example: “Yes, I have worked with confidential information in my previous role as a transcriptionist. I always kept all documents secure on my computer and never shared them with anyone outside of the company. I also used password protection software to ensure no one else could access the files without the correct credentials.”

When is it appropriate to ask a speaker to repeat themselves?

Interviewers may ask this question to see if you know when it’s appropriate to interrupt a speaker and how to do so politely. In your answer, explain that there are several reasons why you might need to ask someone to repeat themselves. Explain that in your experience, the best time to do so is when the speaker pauses for more than five seconds or says something unclear.

Example: “I always try to wait until the speaker has finished their thought before asking them to repeat themselves. However, I’ve found that sometimes they pause for longer than necessary or say something unclear. When this happens, I politely ask them to clarify what they said.”

We want to ensure our transcripts are accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Are you familiar with any transcription techniques that help to achieve this goal?

Interviewers may ask this question to see if you have experience working with people who are deaf or hard of hearing. They want to know that you can create transcripts that are easy for these individuals to understand and use. In your answer, explain how you would make a transcript accessible to those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Example: “I am very familiar with the techniques I can use to ensure my transcripts are accessible to those who are deaf or hard of hearing. For example, when transcribing an interview, I will include any non-verbal cues that help me understand what the speaker is saying. This includes facial expressions, gestures and other visual clues. I also try to avoid using jargon or acronyms in my work so it’s easier for someone who is unfamiliar with the industry to understand.”

Describe your process for proofreading your work.

Proofreading is an important part of the transcription process. Employers ask this question to make sure you understand how proofreading can impact your work and that you have a system in place for doing it effectively. In your answer, explain what steps you take when proofreading your work. Explain why these steps are important and give examples of times they helped you improve your work or avoid mistakes.

Example: “I always proofread my work after I finish transcribing it. Proofreading helps me catch any errors I may have made while typing. It also allows me to ensure that I typed everything accurately. If there’s anything I missed during my initial proofreading, I’ll go back and fix it before submitting my work.”

What makes you stand out from other candidates?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their company. When answering, it’s important to highlight a skill or experience that makes you unique from other candidates. You may also want to mention something that relates to the job description.

Example: “I have been working as a transcriptionist for five years now, so I am very familiar with the industry. However, what sets me apart is my attention to detail. In my previous position, I was responsible for transcribing medical records, which required me to be extremely accurate. I pride myself on being able to provide quality work while meeting deadlines.”

Which transcription software do you prefer to use?

This question can help the interviewer determine your level of experience with different software. It also helps them understand which one you’re most comfortable using and how familiar you are with it. If you have previous experience working as a transcriptionist, mention the software you prefer to use and why. If you don’t have any professional experience, consider researching some popular transcription software before your interview so that you can discuss your thoughts on each program.

Example: “I’ve worked primarily with Transcribe for the past five years. I find this software easy to navigate and am able to complete my work quickly. However, I’m always open to learning new programs if necessary.”

What do you think are the most important skills for a successful transcriptionist?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the skills necessary to succeed in this role. Use your answer to highlight any specific skills that you possess and how they benefit you as a transcriptionist.

Example: “I think one of the most important skills for a successful transcriptionist is attention to detail. This skill helps me ensure I transcribe every word accurately, which is crucial when working with clients who are recording sensitive information. Another important skill is communication, as it allows me to work well with my team members and other professionals on projects. These two skills allow me to be an effective transcriptionist.”

How often do you perform quality checks on your work?

Transcriptionists are responsible for ensuring their work is accurate. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the necessary skills and attention to detail to perform quality checks on your own work. In your answer, explain that you understand how important it is to check your work before submitting it to clients. Explain that you do regular quality checks throughout the transcription process.

Example: “I always perform quality checks on my work as I go along. I find that doing a quick proofread at the end of each project helps me catch any errors or typos I may have missed during the rest of the process. I also like to get feedback from others when possible. For example, if I’m working with another transcriber, I’ll send them my work for review before sending it to the client.”

There is a technical issue that prevents you from hearing a speaker clearly. How do you respond?

This question is an opportunity to show your problem-solving skills and ability to adapt. Your answer should include a specific example of how you handled the situation, what actions you took and the result.

Example: “I once had a client who spoke very quickly and I couldn’t understand him at all. I asked if he could repeat himself or speak more slowly. He did so, but it was still difficult for me to hear everything clearly. So I told him that I would type out whatever I understood and ask questions later if there were any parts I didn’t get. This worked well because I was able to transcribe most of his speech and only needed clarification on a few points.”

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