Use Zoom to Automatically Transcribe Interviews

screen shot of zoom chat with captioning on

I do interviews for a living. Maybe you do, too: maybe you’re a reporter or a writer or a blogger or someone who has to ask people questions and write down their answers.

We all dream of some automated transcription service that would allow us to focus on the conversation and put our notes aside. And there are automated transcription apps and services out there, usually for a small fee, but that’s just one more thing to sign up for and figure out.

But did you know that Zoom offers live automatic captioning, and that it’s quite good? All you have to do is turn it on.

Then have your conversation. If your interviewee mentions something very specific that you need to get right, like a technical term or someone’s name, be sure to check the spelling or ask them to repeat it so you know the captioning picked it up correctly.

Before the call ends, download the transcript. (It’s usually saved to a Zoom folder on your computer.) In fact, I usually save the transcript once or twice during the call, just in case we get disconnected before I have a chance to grab it, and then I download the whole thing at the end.

That’s it! No more note-taking.