How to Cite an Interview in Chicago Style: Format Requirements and Examples

When doing research for academic projects, interviews are valuable for gathering information and firsthand quotes from primary sources. You may conduct your interview or reference a published one, and this guide will provide recommendations and useful examples of how to cite an interview in Chicago style, according to the requirements of the Chicago Manual of Style (we refer to the 17th edition).

General guidelines

The specific details required for quoting interviews can differ based on their publication status and the sources where they were published. In general, you’ll typically need to indicate the following information:

  • Name of the interviewee;
  • Heading;
  • Name of the interviewer;
  • Information about the channel, TV show, or publication;
  • Date when the interview was done;
  • Page numbers (if applicable);
  • URL or DOI (if applicable).

The format may have variations, so it’s essential to consult the guidelines provided by your tutor for precise instructions.

Citing an unpublished interview 

When learning how to cite an interview in Chicago, it’s essential to clarify the difference between published and unpublished interviews. Unlike formal publications, unpublished interviews encompass those you’ve made yourself as part of your research and those accessed through archives. These interviews should be cited only in the notes.

  • How to cite interviews conducted by yourself

Footnote references to your interviews should indicate the interviewee’s name, specify that you were the interviewer, and provide the location (if conducted in person) and date.


James Stone, interview by author, New York, October 12, 2022.

In cases where you have agreed to maintain the interviewee’s anonymity for whatever reason, write a proper description instead of their name.


Interview with a college professor, Chicago, May 5, 2022.

Subsequent footnotes referring to the same interview should be abbreviated.


Stone, interview.

Interview with a college professor.

  • How to cite interviews sourced from an archive

Suppose the interview is taken from an archive, in this case, you should indicate the interviewer's name and information about accessing the source.


James Stone, interview by Emily Smith, June 5, 2022, transcript, EasyJob Archives, New York, NY.

Read also: MLA interview citation

How to cite personal communication

When referencing information obtained directly from an individual without a formal interview, you can quote it as personal communication within the text or in the notes, and it’s not required to include a bibliography.


John McNolland, email message to author, July 17, 2022.

Personal communications should only be quoted if they provide unique insights or information that cannot be received from other publicly available sources.

Citing a published interview 

The formatting depends on the source type where the interview was found. As for published interviews, the note and bibliography entry should start with the person’s name who was interviewed. You should add the interviewer’s name after the title. If the name has already been provided in the title, you can omit it at the beginning of a note. Still, the name should always be indicated in the bibliography entry. Let’s see examples of how to cite an interview in Chicago style from journals, videos, and magazines.

  • Journal interview

Full note:

“Exploring the Universe: An Interview with Astronomer Jane Johnson,” interview by Lilly Smith, The Astrophysical Journal 92, no. 3 (2019): 45.


Johnson, Jane. “Exploring the Universe: An Interview with Astronomer Jane Johnson.” Interview by Lilly Smith. The Astrophysical Journal 92, no. 3 (2019): 45.

  • Video interview


 BJ Miller, “What really matters at the end of life,” interview by Emily Booth, October 1, 2015, video, 19:07, 


Miller, BJ. “What really matters at the end of life.” Interview by Emily Booth. October 1, 2015. Video, 19:07.

  • Magazine interview


“Behind the Scenes: An Interview with Director Jane Johnson,” interview by Lilly Smith, Film Monthly, January 2023, 3.


Johnson, Jane. “Behind the Scenes: An Interview with Director Jane Johnson.” Interview by Lilly Smith. Film Monthly, January 2023, 3.

How to cite an anonymous interview according to Chicago format guidelines

When referencing anonymous sources in interviews, it’s permissible to use identifying labels such as “personal communication” or “anonymous informant” without explicitly mentioning the source’s name. Still, when citing a speech in Chicago style, it’s crucial to explain within the text, clarifying the reason behind withholding the source’s identity.

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