Example APA Style: Interview

There are two main factors to consider when referring to interviews in a dissertation using the APA reference style:

I conducted the interview myself

Interviews in the appendices

If you have included the interview transcripts in the appendices, simply refer to the relevant appendices when mentioning information from the interview in the body of the text.

Example: referring to appendix in text

According to interviewee x (Appendix 1), …

For example, interviewee x described how …. (Appendix 1).

Interviews not in the appendices

If the interviews are not included in the appendices, you should refer to the interview as “personal communication.” This indicates that the documents or transcribed interviews are not available to third parties.

Even if you did not create a transcript of the interview, you must reference any information shared that you gained via this method as “personal communication.”

Example: how to cite and reference “personal communication”
Literature listDo not include a reference to an untranscribed interview in the literature list
In text
  • An interview with the head of department showed that … (P. Bankers, personal communication, 3 March 2015).
  • According to P. Bankers (personal communication, 3 March 2015), the problem can be solved by …

I am using an interview conducted by someone else

You may wish to include information from an interview conducted by someone else in your research. For example, an interview with an expert in a certain field or one from an online article.

Interviews in magazines/online articles

If you are referencing an interview in a magazine or an online article, follow the normal rules for paraphrasing or quoting from such a source.

In this case, the person who wrote the article (most often the interviewer) is the author. You do not include the name of the person interviewed in the citation or in the literature list.

It may be less clear to the reader exactly who said what when you are referencing an interview conducted by someone else. The following examples show how to make sure the ideas are clearly attributed.

Example: online article with an interview you may wish to quote
Christian Davenport is a journalist for the Washington Post. He wrote an article featuring quotes from an interview with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
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).

Here you can see that it is unclear that Bridenstine said this, rather than Davenport. You can solve cases such as this in the following way:

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 an article published by the Washington Post: “a big objective is to once again launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil” (Davenport, 2018, para. 20).

The attribution is now clear, as the quote has now been introduced with the name of the person who said it.

Example: referencing an interview in an online article
APA formatAuthor name, first initial. (year, day month). Article title. Name of publication (page number, if available). Retrieved from: URL
Literature 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).
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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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