How To Cite An Interview

How to Cite an Interview

Citing is a hugely important element of the process when it comes to writing a research paper. You need to make sure that every single source that is used within your research is cited properly when writing.

Not only it is generally bad form to not cite the sources that you use, showing a lack of common courtesy for the original creator of said source,

How to Cite an Interview

it is also a highly unprofessional move that is certain to lower your credibility and- if you are writing research papers for educational purposes- your final grades. 

Citing is essential, but that doesn’t mean it is particularly easy. Cites and sources can come in a wide variety of forms, and some can be more difficult to pin down in terms of how you go about citing them.

One of the trickiest forms of citation to get right is an interview. Interviews can be a great source of information when it comes to just about any kind of topic.

Both personal and published interviews can be used within research papers, but they are cited in different ways. It might be a little off-putting to utilize an interview within your research if you are unsure of how to go about citing it appropriately.

Have no fear, though, as we are here to help you out! We are going to be going through three of the major referencing styles- APA, MLA, and Chicago- and discussing how you can incorporate them efficiently into any research paper. 

APA 

APA- an acronym for American Psychological Association- is an academic reference style that is very similar to the Harvard method. In APA, sources can be cited both indirectly and directly. 

Personal Interviews 

The following interview methods would qualify as a personal interview that would need to be cited as such if used in a reference paper:

  • Interviews that are conducted in person.
  • Telephone interviews.
  • Text messages.
  • Memos.
  • Unrecorded lectures.
  • Online conversation.
  • Emails.

With APA referencing, you can cite personal interviews via two different methods: as a parenthetical citation or in the APA reference list.

However, if you do choose to cite it in the APA reference list, you’ll need to be vigilant in your citation structure. Here is an example of the structure that would be used for a personal interview citation within APA:

Last Name, First Name Initial. (Year, Month, and Date). Cite as a personal interview [input the exact kind of interview, e.g. Email Interview].

Although this is an acceptable method, it is preferable to cite personal interviews as parenthetical citations due to personal, unpublished interviews not having a concrete foundation when it comes to being found. If you are unsure as to how this would look, you can find an example of a parenthetical citation example below:

(First Name Initial, Surname. Personal Interview. Interview Method (e.g. in-person interview) Month, Day, Year).  

Published Interviews

A published interview is relatively self-explanatory in that it is simply an interview that has been published and has a direct source that can be located.

Always remember to include the interviewee and the location of the quote, such as the timestamp. Some examples of a published interview are as follows:

  • A printed interview, such as in a book, magazine scholarly journal.
  • An online publication. 
  • A YouTube video.

Each of these published interviews has a slightly different citation method.

  • Book/ Print- In-Text Citation: Author’s last name. Year of publication. Page number (if this applies). 
  • Book/Print- Reference List Citation: Author’s Last Name, Initial. Year of publication. 
  • Online Publication- In-Text Citation- Parenthetical : (Author’s Surname, Year of Publication, Page or Paragraph Number).
  • Online Publication- In-Text Citation- Narrative: Include year of publication after the mention of the author, e.g “Smith’s (2022) interview with…”
  • Online Publication- Reference List: Author’s Surname, Initial. (Year of Publication, Month Date). Title of Article. Publication Name. Link To Article.
  • YouTube Video- In-Text Citation-Parenthetical: After the source (YouTube Channel, Year, Time Stamp)
  • YouTube Video In-Text Citation-Narrative: After mentioning the YouTube channel (Year).
  • YouTube Video- Reference List Citation: YouTube Channel. (Year, Month, Day). YouTube Video Title- YouTube Channel [Video]. YouTube. Link to video.
How to Cite an Interview

MLA

MLA stands for Modern Language Association and is one of the most commonly used formatting styles. MLA has a similar method to APA when it comes to citing, though it is a little simpler.

Personal Interviews

Begin the “Works Cited” entry with the name of the interviewee when citing a personal reference in MLA. All you need to do then is use the word “Interview” to describe the citation and follow it with the name of the interviewer and the date:

Surname, First Name. Interview. Conducted by Interviewers First and Last Name, Day, Month, and Year.

A parenthetical citation is even simpler, only requiring the surname of the interviewee, like so:

(Surname).

Published Interviews

With a published interview citation, the interviewee’s name will go in the same space that the author’s name would usually go, then add in the details in the regular MLA citation formatting.

This is the same for a parenthetical citation, with the addition of a page number if possible. As with the APA method, there are small variations here and there for different kinds of published interviews.

  • Book/Print- Works Cited Citation: Interviewee Surname, First Name. “Book/ Print Title.” Interview by Interviewer First Name and Surname. Publication Title, Publisher, Year, Page Numbers.
  • Book/Print- In-Text Citation: (Interviewee Surname, Page Number).
  • Journal Works- Cited Citation: Interviewee Surname, First Name. “Article Title.” Interview by Interviewer First Name and Surname. Journal Title, Volume Number, Year of Publication, Page Number. Name of Database, Link to article.
  • Journal- In-Text Citation: (Interviewee Surname, Page Number)
  • Online Video- Works Cited Citation: Interviewee Surname, First Name. “Video Title.” Interview By Interviewer First Name and Surname. Online Platform. Uploaded by Creator Name/ YouTube channel. Day Month, Year. Link to video.
  • Online Video- In-Text Citation: (Interviewee Surname, Timestamp).

Chicago 

The Chicago style of referencing is also relatively simple when it comes to citing interviews, though much like APA and MLA, it has a different method for personal and published interviews. 

Personal Interviews

With Chicago, personal interviews conducted by yourself -or via archives- are cited only in the notes. The reference names the interviewee and the name of the interviewer, as well as the location and the date, as below.

How to Cite an Interview

Make sure that you have permission from the interviewee to use their name before you put it in your research paper. If not, refer to their occupation in place of tier actual name. 

Interviewee First Name and Surname, Interviewer by Author, Location, Month Day and Year. 

Any other footnotes that include the interview can be cited in a shorter manner, like so:

Interviewee Surname, Interview.

Interview with Interviewee Occupation.

An archive interview will be cited a little differently, but it can be included as long as it is in the form of a recording or a transcript, with the name of the interviewer and information on how to gain access to the source included: 

Interviewee First Name and Surname, Interview by First Name and Surname, Month and Date, Year, Interview Name, Transcript/ Recording, Archive Name, Location. 

Footnotes will only need a shortened citation:

Interviewee Surname, Interview.

Published Interviews

There isn’t much of a difference to the usual formatting of citations for published interviews in the Chicago style.

The only change is that both the footnotes and the bibliography will begin with the name of the interviewee, with the interviewer’s name coming after the title. 

  • Magazine- In-Text Citation: Interviewee First Name and Surname, “Article Title”, Interview by Interviewer First Name and Surname, Magazine Name, Month, Day, Year, Link to Article if Online.
  • Magazine- In-Text Footnote Citation: Interviewee Last Name, “Shortened Version of Article Title”, Page Numbers.
  • Magazine- Bibliography Citation: Interviewee Last Name, First Name. “Article Title”, Interview by Interviewer First Name and Surname. Magazine Title. Month, Day, Year. Link to Article if Online.
  • Journal- In-Text Citation: Interviewee First Name and Surname, “Article Title”, Interview by Interviewer First Name and Surname, Journal Name and Volume, Number, Issue (Month or Year): Page Numbers. Link to Journal Article. 
  • Journal- In-Text Footnote Citation: Interviewee Last Name, “Shortened Version of Title,” Page Number.
  • Journal- Bibliography Citation: Interviewee Surname and First Name. “Article Title.” Interview by Interviewer First Name and Surname. Name of Journal, Volume, Number, Issue (Month or Year): Pages. Link to Journal Article. 
  • Video- Interviewer In-Text Citation: Interview First Name and Surname, “Title of Video”, Interview by Interviewer First Name and Surname, Month and Day, Year, Video, Timestamp, Link to Video.
  • Video- Interviewer In-Text Footnote Citation: Interviewee Last Name “Shortened Version of Video Title”, Timestamp. 
  • Video- Interviewer Bibliography Citation: Interviewee Surname and First Name. “Title of Video.” Interview by Interviewer First Name and Surname. Months Day Year. Video. Length of Video. Link to Video. 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this guide has made you feel a bit more confident when it comes to being able to cite interviews in various referencing styles.

There isn’t a drastic difference between the referencing APA, MLA, and the Chicago referencing styles, but each style has its own variations that can be easy to get mixed up.

Stay focused on the reference style that you use personally and remember to take note of the differences between the personal and published interviews, and you should get the hang of citing interviews in no time!

Jamie Willis