How it was conducted and whether it was published determines how to cite an interview in MLA. Here’s an overview of how to cite an interview in MLA, frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the topic, and the differences when citing personal and published interviews in MLA.
Definition: MLA interview citation
An MLA interview citation is a reference technique for citing interviews using the MLA style. You mention the interviewee’s name in the in-text citation as the author.1 In the Works Cited entry, follow the interviewee’s name with the topic of the interview in speech marks. However, if you lack a subject for your discussion, write “interview”- don’t use quotation marks or styles.
If you did the interview alone, write your name and the interview date. If you used an interview from a published source, write the interviewer’s name and the complete information of your source.
Here are examples of how to cite an interview in MLA:
How to cite a personal interview in MLA
A personal interview is the one you did yourself.2 The Works Cited should include the interviewee’s name, the term “interview,” your name, and the interview date. This is how to cite an interview in MLA in this case:
Works Cited entry:
Washington, Samuel. Interview. Conducted by Brian McKenzie, 18 Jan. 2012.
Write the interviewee’s last name in the parenthetical citation.
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How to cite a published interview in MLA
A published interview is an interview you took from a published source like a podcast, online journal, book, online magazine, or video. Write the original interview in full detail using all the MLA core elements. Place the interviewee as the author and write the interview in speech marks. Put the interviewee’s last name in the parenthetical citation and the page number if available.
Here’s how to cite an interview in MLA depending on your source:
An online magazine
Include the following details for interviews derived from newspapers, online magazines or blogs:3
- Publication’s name
- The post’s date
- The site’s URL
Works Cited entry
Harrison, Patty. “Harry Pattison means it, except when she doesn’t.” This interview was done by Rachel Syme. The New Yorker, 20/02/2022, https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-new-yorker-interview/patti-harrison-means-it-except-when-she-doesnt
Include the following for an interview appearing in a book’s chapter or section:
- The book’s title
- The editor(s) or author(s)
- The publisher
- The publication year
- The interview’s page range
If the book is the interviewer and you’re the editor or the author, omit the interview’s page range to avoid repetition.
Here’s an example of how to cite an interview in MLA in this instance:
Works Cited entry
Newport, Cal. “Deep Work.” This interview was done by Nancy Lynch. Grand Central Publishing, 2016, pp. 320–361.
An academic journal
Include the following elements for interviews published in academic journals:
- Journal name
- Volume and number
- The date or year
- The page range
Include a stable URL or DOI and the database if you sourced the interview from an online journal.
Here is an example of how to cite an interview in MLA derived from an academic journal:
Works Cited entry
Heterick, Bruce. “Books at JSTOR.” This interview was done by Marilyn Geller. Serials Review, vol. 38, Issue 4, 1998, pp. 262–265. ScienceDirect, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0098791312001438.
An online video
Include these elements for the online video interviews you found:
- Its platform or website
- The person uploading the video
- Date uploaded
- URL of the site
For this, use various timestamps to highlight specific relevant parts of the interview.
Works Cited entry
Levy, Hannah. “I try to create what I think of as a design purgatory.” This interview was done by Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen.
YouTube video, uploaded by the Louisiana Channel, 20/12/2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yep0Q_JAneY.
Adjusting the format according to your university’s requirements is typically the final step. After several times of proofreading, many become blinkered to their own work and miss formatting mistakes. A preview-function representing the real-life version that can be edited virtually creates a fresh eye for formatting mistakes and helps you to detect them again.
These interviews are personal communications, so they don’t need a formal citation in the reference list.
Works Cited format: Last name, Name. “Title of the interview.” Interview by First and Last name of Interviewer. Source of publication, Date Month Year, page number(s).
Works Cited entry: Jensen, Ruby. “Ruby’s Everyday Life.” Interview by Christina Jackson. The dreamy Interviewers’ Column, June 2019, pp. 3-5.
In-text citation format: (Last name Page number(s))
In-text citation: (Jensen 4)
Use conjunctions like “according to” or “Jane states” to introduce references to the interview. If you must use the exact words from an interviewee, put them in quotation marks.
1 Purdue University. “In-Text Citations: The Basics.” Accessed January 20, 2023. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/in_text_citations_the_basics.html.
2 Excelsior. “Online Magazine Article.” Accessed January 20, 2023. https://libguides.ecu.edu/c.php?g=542497&p=4037191.
3 ECU. “APA Citation Style, 6th Edition: Interviews.” Accessed January 20, 2023. https://owl.excelsior.edu/citation-and-documentation/apa-style/apa-references/online-magazine-articles-apa-references/.