Recording Telephone Interviews

April 16, 2020

As most of us adjust to home working, we can turn to technology to keep connected. If you’re thinking of conducting telephone interviews, here’s a quick guide on how to go about capturing good audio.

 

GDPR considerations

There are many approaches to recording telephone audio. GDPR compliance needs to be considered. As with recording a face to face interview, you’ll need to obtain consent to the conversation being recorded.

The audio and/or video should be recorded to a location where you have complete control of the data, so this rules out most cloud based services. With cloud based services, it’s often impossible to determine where your data will be stored, geographically speaking. If you can determine where the data will be stored – is the country where the servers are located deemed to have adequate data protection laws in place according to the Information Commissioner’s Office? Is the data encrypted for upload, download and storage? Is access to the data password protected? Do you have control over the complete and secure deletion of the data from the server? We would favour recording to a local disk because there are fewer variables at play…

Recording calls on a mobile phone

Neither iOS nor Android devices have native apps that will record your calls on the device’s local storage. You can set up conference calls with cloud recording services, but we haven’t found a GDPR compliant service using this method.

 

We have come across an Android app that records to the device’s local storage, Call Recorder S9  – Automatic Call Recorder Pro. Nothing on iOS so far…

 

Telephone audio recorder

You can buy call recording hardware for your phone. The RecorderGear PR200 interfaces with your mobile device via Bluetooth, audio files are recorded onto the device, which you can then plug into your computer to transfer the data over.

telephone audio recorderAnother, cheaper option is to use an adapter (such as the Speak-IT smartphone and iPhone recording adapter) to split off the signal from the headset you’d use to make a phone call hands free on your mobile. It’s a very simple bit of kit and the split plugs into your usual recording device, e.g. a Dictaphone.

 

You can use a similar device (like this one from PCM Telecom) to record landline calls. Electronically speaking, they’re slightly more complicated because the device has to incorporate a line isolator to protect you from potentially hazardous voltages that could be transmitted down the phone line in a fault condition, so it’s not a straightforward split of the audio signals.

VoIP Calls

 

Zoom.us, the VoIP service, have a feature where you can record conversations directly to your local disk if you call using a laptop or desktop computer (this feature is not available on iOS or Android operating systems). Zoom.us will record each participant’s video and/or audio stream as a separate video and/or audio file.

You can load these audio files into audio editing software, adjust the levels and create a stereo mix of the conversation. If that seems daunting, we can do that for you here at Transcribe This.

 

These are just a few of the options available. Good luck (…but also test your chosen method before your important phone call)! Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions – if we can help, we will!

 

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