How to cite an interview in APA style

The format of an APA interview citation depends on whether the source is a published interview or an interview you conducted yourself.

Personal interviews that can’t be retrieved by the reader shouldn’t be included in an APA reference list. Instead, cite the interview as a personal communication in the text.

According to the CEO, the company’s communications strategy is moving in a different direction (B. Jones, personal communication, January 22, 2020).

If the interview was published in a retrievable source (e.g. a website, journal, newspaper or book), follow the usual citation format for that type of source.

You can use Scribbr’s free APA Citation Generator to create in-text citations and reference list entries for different source types.

Scribbr APA Citation Generator

Citing personal interviews in APA

An unpublished interview that you conducted as part of your research should not be included in the reference list. How you cite them depends on whether you have included the interview as an appendix.

Interviews in appendices

If you have included the interview transcripts as appendices, simply refer to the relevant appendices when mentioning information from the interview.

According to one participant… (Appendix 1).

Interviews not in appendices

If the interview is not included in the appendices, you should follow the format of an APA personal communication. This citation format is used for any source that your reader isn’t able to access for themselves.

To cite interviews as personal communications, include the interviewee’s initials and last name, the words “personal communication,” and the date on which the interview was conducted, all in parentheses next to the relevant information:

An interview with the head of department showed that … (P. Bankers, personal communication, March 3, 2015).
According to P. Bankers (personal communication, March 3, 2015), the problem can be solved by …

Even if you did not create a transcript of the interview, you must reference any information that you got from someone else as a personal communication.

Citing published interviews in APA

If you want to include information from an interview that has been published and can be retrieved by the reader, then you can cite it as you would normally cite that type of source.

The author is the person who wrote the article (usually the interviewer). The name of the person interviewed is not included in the citation or in the reference list.

However, it’s important to make it clear exactly who said what when you quote from an interview conducted by someone else.

Example: quoting with unclear attribution
The United States aims to return its space program to its former glory: “A big objective is to once again launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil” (Davenport, 2018, para. 20).

The citation here implies that this quote is from Davenport – but in fact, it is a quote from Jim Bridenstine, who is interviewed in Davenport’s article.

In this case, you should clearly state the interviewee’s name in the sentence to make it clear who is responsible for the quote.

Example: clearly attributing a quote to the original source
The United States aims to return its space program to its former glory, as highlighted by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a recent interview with the Washington Post: “A big objective is to once again launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil” (Davenport, 2018, para. 20).

The format of the reference list entry depends on the type of source the interview was published in.

Interview published in a newspaper
FormatAuthor name, initials. (year, day month). Article title. Name of publication (page number if available). Retrieved from URL
Reference listDavenport, C. (2018, June 5). NASA’s new administrator says he’s talking to companies about taking over operations of the International Space Station. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/06/05/nasas-new-administrator-says-hes-talking-to-companies-to-take-over-the-international-space-station
In-text citationNASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine confirmed that the United States would like to return their main space operations to US land: “A big objective is to once again launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil” (Davenport, 2018, para. 20).

You can use our quick citation examples to correctly cite interviews published in other source types.

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Frequently asked questions about APA interview citations

Should interviews be included in an APA reference list?

Interviews you conducted yourself are not included in your reference list, but instead cited in the text as personal communications.

Published or recorded interviews are included in the reference list. Cite them in the usual format of the source type (for example, a newspaper article, website or YouTube video).

What types of source are cited as a personal communication in APA Style?

In APA Style, all sources that are not retrievable for the reader are cited as personal communications. In other words, if your source is private or inaccessible to the audience of your paper, it’s a personal communication.

Common examples include conversations, emails, messages, letters, and unrecorded interviews or performances.

How do I cite a source with no page numbers in APA?

When you quote or paraphrase a specific passage from a source, you need to indicate the location of the passage in your in-text citation. If there are no page numbers (e.g. when citing a website), you can instead use section headings, paragraph numbers, or a combination of the two:

(Caulfield, 2019, “Linking” section, para. 1).

Section headings can be shortened if necessary. Kindle location numbers should not be used in ebook citations, as they are unreliable.

If you are referring to the source as a whole, it’s not necessary to include a page number or other marker.

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Courtney Gahan

Courtney has a Bachelor in Communication and a Master in Editing and Publishing. She has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2013, and joined the Scribbr team as an editor in June 2017. She loves helping students and academics all over the world improve their writing (and learning about their research while doing so!).

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