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IAFS 4930 International Affairs Internship: Interview

Citing an Interview


There are two ways to cite an interview.  First, if you have a recording or transcript of the interview you will cite it like this in the bibliography:


Van Hoye, A. (Interviewer) & Tallman, K. (Interviewee). (2017). Interview 2 [Interview transcript]. Retrieved from The University of Colorado's

University Archive:


If you did not record or have the interview transcribed you will cite it as a personal communication within the text of your paper like this:


(A. Van Hoye, personal communication, January 4, 2011). 


Tip! If you only have notes, but not the transcript you will cite it as a personal communication.

Tip! You do not cite personal communications in your bibliography or works cited at the end of your paper.

Source: Purdue Writing Lab (n.d.). APA Style Introduction. Retrieved August 24, 2018, from


Interviews typically fall into two categories: print or broadcast published and unpublished (personal) interviews, although interviews may also appear in other, similar formats such as in e-mail format or as a Web document.

Personal Interviews

Personal interviews refer to those interviews that you conduct yourself. List the interview by the name of the interviewee. Include the descriptor Personal interview and the date of the interview.

Smith, Jane. Personal interview. 19 May 2014.

Published Interviews (Print or Broadcast)

List the interview by the full name of the interviewee. If the name of the interview is part of a larger work like a book, a television program, or a film series, place the title of the interview in quotation marks. Place the title of the larger work in italics. If the interview appears as an independent title, italicize it. For books, include the author or editor name after the book title.

Note: If the interview from which you quote does not feature a title, add the descriptor, Interview by (unformatted) after the interviewee’s name and before the interviewer’s name.

Gaitskill, Mary. Interview with Charles Bock. Mississippi Review, vol. 27, no. 3, 1999, pp. 129-50.

Amis, Kingsley. “Mimic and Moralist.” Interviews with Britain’s Angry Young Men, By Dale Salwak, Borgo P, 1984.

In text citatation

For help on how to cite your interview in the text of your paper follow this link.

Source: Purdue Writing Lab. “MLA Style Introduction.” Purdue Writing Lab, Accessed 24 Aug. 2018.


If you need more help check out the Owl at Purdue ( or ask us (AllanKate) or any other librarian for help.

Where to find it

Highlighted Resources

Sage Research Methods OnlineFor quick definitions and answers, check out the “reference” searches. For longer guides, check out the “blue books," specifically the selection of qualitative interview books. You can even search videos!

How to cite an interview

Qualitative Interviewing

Key Takeaways: Interview Tips

Use open-ended questions. 

  • Don’t ask questions that can be answered with a yes or no, or that provide a set choice of answers to the interviewee.
  • Instead ask questions that allow the interviewee to answer the question with more detail. For example: “What did you find interesting about this program?” or “Why did you want to undertake this project?” 
  • Start questions with: What? Where? Who? When? How? Why?

Avoid leading questions. 

  • Leading questions imply that you are looking for a certain answer. For example, “What scares you most when you know funding is going to be cut?”
  • Instead, ask non-leading questions -- and remember those magic words! For example, “How do you feel when funding is cut?” 

Probe for more in-depth answers.

  • Don’t be afraid to follow up if something is unclear or you need more info. Ask, “What did you mean by that?” Or, “Can you explain what you meant when you said...?"
  • Make sure you give your respondent time to finish answering first though! A little comfortable silence can be a great probe in and of itself.
  • BUT don’t grill your subject! Be respectful of their need for organizational privacy.