How to cite an interview in APA Style

This article reflects the APA 7th edition guidelines. Click here for APA 6th edition guidelines.

In APA Style, published interviews are cited in a different format from interviews you conducted yourself.

A personal interview you conducted that can’t be accessed by the reader should not be included in the reference list. Instead, it’s cited as a personal communication in the text.

To cite a published interview, follow the standard format for the source type it was published in (e.g. book, newspaper).

Citing interviews you conducted

An interview you conducted yourself is not included in the reference list, because it is not retrievable by your readers.

The way you refer to these interviews in the text depends on whether you include a transcript of the interview in an appendix.

Quoting your research participants

If your research methodology involved conducting formal interviews with participants, transcripts of these interviews are typically included in an appendix. You don’t need citations when quoting your research participants; just mention where the transcripts can be found.

One participant, David, stated that he found the experience “very challenging” (full interview transcripts are presented in Appendix A).

This only needs to be mentioned once; don’t refer to the appendix every time you quote from it. Similar advice applies to surveys.

Citing personal interviews

Personal interviews are those you conducted informally to obtain additional information to support your arguments. They are typically not included in an appendix.

As these are not published anywhere, they should be cited as personal communications in the text and omitted from the reference list.

Include the interviewee’s initials and last name, the words “personal communication,” and the date on which the interview was conducted.

Via email, one of the researchers involved in the project clarified that it was “still ongoing” (L. Singh, personal communication, April 24, 2020).

Citing published interviews

To cite a published interview, follow the format for the source type in which it was published.

The author is 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. In the following example, the citation incorrectly implies that the quote is from Davenport:

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).

To make it clear that these are the words of the interviewee, not the interviewer, name the speaker directly in the sentence:

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).

Citing a newspaper interview

To cite an interview published in a newspaper, follow the standard newspaper format, listing the interviewer in the author position.

Format Interviewer name, Initials. (Year, Month Day). Interview title. Newspaper Name. URL
Reference list Dundas, D. (2019, November 8). Zadie Smith on fighting the algorithm: “If you are under 30, and you are able to think for yourself right now, God bless you.” Toronto Star. shorturl.at/eiyzW
In-text citation (Dundas, 2019)

Citing a podcast interview

To cite an interview from a podcast, follow the format for citing a podcast episode, listing the host in the author position.

Format Host name, Initials. (Host). (Year, Month Day). Episode title (No. Number). [Audio podcast episode]. In Podcast Name. Production Company. URL
Reference list O’Brien, J. (Host). (2020, September 24). Margaret Atwood. [Audio podcast episode]. In Full Disclosure with James O’Brien. LBC. https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/margaret-atwood/id1454408831?i=1000492394615
In-text citation (O’Brien, 2020)

Citing an interview from YouTube

To cite an interview you viewed on YouTube, follow the standard format for citing a YouTube video. Note that the person or organization that uploaded the video, rather than the person conducting the interview, appears in the author position.

Format Author name, Initials. (Year, Month Day). Video title [Video]. YouTube. URL
Reference list The New Yorker. (2018, April 4). Malcolm Gladwell explains where his ideas come from [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/zvv8iFupg9M
In-text citation (The New Yorker, 2018)

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Frequently asked questions about APA Style 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.

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Jack Caulfield

Jack is a Brit based in Amsterdam, with an MA in comparative literature. He writes and edits for Scribbr, and reads a lot of books in his spare time.

1 comment

Jack Caulfield
Jack Caulfield (Scribbr Team)
November 6, 2020 at 12:15 PM

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