Recording phone interviews

By Katharine Swan On Tuesday, March 11, 2008 At 10:37 AM

As I mentioned in a previous post, I just recently conducted my first phone interview. Part of the reason I've avoided doing this until now is because I hate phones, but another big part is that I wasn't sure how to record the call.

I am not one of those people who can follow a conversation while I'm taking notes and jotting down quotes. I feel like I need to devote my full attention to the interview, so I much prefer to record the conversation and take notes from the recording later on.

In the past, I've used everything from an old-school mini-cassette recorder to an MP3 player with a voice recorder feature. My MP3 player really didn't do so well as a voice recorder, no matter what the box said, and anyway it bit the dust not too long ago. My digital camera has a voice recorder option, but it won't work for a phone call.

I decided it was high time to invest in a better system, one that would allow me to record phone calls when necessary. The trick was that I needed something that would work on cell phones, since we don't have a land line. I searched the RadioShack website, and came up with this:

Wireless Phone Recording Controller

Basically this little gadget serves as an interrupt between your phone and your hands-free device. There are two wires, one of which you plug into the phone's hands-free port. The other goes into your voice recorder's microphone jack. The hands-free device then plugs into the controller.

There was another device that just plugged into the recorder. It had an earbud microphone to record everything; you just put it in your ear and put the earpiece of your phone up to it. Personally, I didn't think that was a method I could count on to pick everything up, so I opted for the interrupt-style device.

Of course, this also meant I needed a voice recorder. I wanted one that would enable me to store the files on my computer; I like keeping all research and other records for each article together. However, I also didn't want to spend an arm and a leg, so I picked out a voice recorder that was relatively inexpensive and could do everything I wanted:

Olympus VN-3100 PC Recorder

I love the recorder, and the controller is pretty easy to use, too. The only thing I've noticed is that because my phone tends to create some interference with speaker devices, I had to be sure to keep the recorder and the phone fairly far away from one another. The interference sometimes covered my voice with some static, but I never had any problems hearing my interviewee's voice on the recording!

Labels:

for this post

Leave a Reply

Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

Subscribe to posts

Content copyright © 2005-2011 by Katharine Swan Leppert.
No part of the work displayed on this site may be reproduced without the author's permission.

Previous Posts