APA Interview Citation

References are not limited to print and online materials, even interviews can serve as useful source of information. This resource is classified under personal communications along with private letters, memos, telephone conversations, and some electronic communications such as e-mail or posts on discussion groups and online bulletin boards.

The American Psychological Association (APA) citation system presents different ways of citing interviews, which will comprehensively be discussed in this article. APA interview citation basically depends on the nature of the interview. So, let’s begin with the guides and formats of citing an informational interview, and later we will move on to third-party interview citation.

Informational Interview

Informational interview provides non-recoverable data; hence it is not cited in the reference list and is only included in the in-text citations.


Basic Format:     (A. A. Last name of Interviewee, personal communication, Date)

A. A. Last name of Interviewee (personal communication, Date)

Examples:           1st citation

(V.-G. Nguyen, personal communication, September 28, 1998)

V.-G. Nguyen (personal communication, September 28, 1998)


Subsequent citation

(Nguyen, 1998)

Nguyen (1998)



  • The date has to be written in this order: month, day, and year.
  • Personal communication is indicated within the parenthesis before the date.
  • If the name of the author is written within the text, write only personal communication and the date inside the parenthesis.
  • In the subsequent citations, only include the last name of the interviewee and year.

In this part, you will learn the details of third party interview citation with specific guides for in-text citation and reference list, as well as formats and examples.


Third-party Interviews 

Unlike informational interviews, recoverable interviews from archives, multimedia, and publications are listed in both in-text citation and reference list. For interviews published online or in print, follow the appropriate guides and format for a specific reference (e.g. magazine, journal, and blog post). In some cases, you can combine different elements that correspond to a certain source in order to provide the readers with the essential information to locate the reference.


In-text Citation

  • In-text citation is usually written in a parenthesis with the last name of the author and year separated by a comma.

(Carlson, 2004)

  • If the last name of the author is included within the text, you only have to write the year inside the parenthesis.

Carlson (2004)


Reference List

  • The author’s name or the interviewee is reversed in the reference list with the last name first followed by the initials.
  • Include the name of the interviewer when citing the reference.
  • For interviews with no formal title, write “Interview by (Name of the Interviewer)” in lieu of the title.


Interviews in Archives and Collections

Basic Format:     Author. (Year, Month Day). Title of material. [Description of material]. Name of Collection (Call number, Box number, File name or number, etc.). Name of Repository, Location.


Recorded Interview in an Archive

Example:             Smith, M. B. (1989, August 12). Interview by C. A. Kiesler [Tape recording]. President’s Oral History Project. American Psychological Association. APA Archives, Washington, DC.


Interview Transcription (no recording available)

Example:             Sparkman, C. F. (1973). An oral history with Dr. Colley F. Sparkman/Interviewer: Orley B. Caudill. Mississippi Oral History Program (Vol. 289), University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg.


Television Interview

Basic Format:     Author. (Year, Month Day of Interview). Title of Interview. Interview by Interviewer’s Initials and Last Name. In Producer’s Last Name, Initials. Title of broadcast or series [Television broadcast]. City of origin: Studio or Distributor.

Example:             Williams, R. (2007, June 3). Interview by L. King. Larry King Live [Television broadcast]. Los Angeles: Cable News Network.


Interview Online (audio clip)

Basic Format:     Author. (Year, Month Day). Title of Interview (Interviewer) [Description of form]. Retrieved from http://www.someaddress.com/full/url/

Example:             Edleman, M. W. (2004, October 21). Marian Wright Edelman: Bush leaving kids behind (T. Smiley, Interviewer) [Audio file]. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4120281