You write something like this:

I'm interested in your interview with Barack Obama.

Most people would take this to mean that it was Obama who was the interviewee (the one answering questions). However, couldn't it technically have been the other way round, i.e. that Obama was the interviewer?

  • 3
    It depends on the context.
    – Noah
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 11:52
  • 1
    Yes. As in, I'm interested in your interview with Barbara Walters.
    – Adam
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 13:23
  • 4
    Interview of would remove all doubt. Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 16:39
  • Of course. As Noah says, it depends on the context. The word your could refer to someone who was a candidate for a cabinet position, instead of a reporter, and my perception would change. Now that that's been settled, though, is there any reason to keep this True/False question open?
    – J.R.
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 16:56

4 Answers 4


There is ambiguity in the construction "interview with".

Many English verbs participate in constructions along with prepositions or adverbs, and those are an important component of the meaning. With in this case simply means that both parties were participants in the interview. It does not further specify who is the interviewer and who is the interviewee.

If it were important to specify - for example, if it were not clear from context - you could use other prepositions.

If you were the interviewer:

Your interview of Barack Obama.

If you were the interviewee:

Your interview by Barack Obama.


I think the answer depends on how you relate "interview" to the transitive verb "to interview" and its older meaning of "meeting".

The transitive verb establishes that the subject interviewed the object.

The older meaning of "interview" does not specify the flow of discourse. And, as we know, meetings often lack directed discourse. <-- Joking, in case that's not clear.

I would take "your interview" as shorthand for "the interview that you conducted" because, I think "interview" takes its cue from the transitive verb and draws a parallel between the possessive pronoun and the subject.

  • 1
    Downvotes without suggestions to improve aren't helpful.
    – mac389
    Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 13:20
  • 1
    Of course downvotes without suggestions to improve are helpful. They affect the ranking of your answer on the page, and signal to other visitors that the downvoter did not think your answer was worthwhile or useful in some way. It may not be helpful to you, but you aren't the only audience for the downvote. (n.b. I did not downvote this.) Commented Aug 27, 2012 at 2:11
  • @LessPop_MoreFizz: Point taken. That point should be made to a larger audience, which could also benefit from knowing why the downvoter did downvote.
    – mac389
    Commented Aug 27, 2012 at 21:24

Unless there is any prior context to indicate that Barack Obama was interviewing someone for a job, it would be safe to assume that he's being interviewed. It's not being specified as it's already assumed knowledge, since the person being addressed in the sentence has intimate knowledge of the interview and should know if they were interviewing or being interviewed. Moreover, the interview itself is of utmost interest. There's no need to write at all times like in a scientific paper. Even if it's not prior knowledge, it will be revealed soon.


That depends on the context surrounding that sentence. You are absolutely right, it can be performed vice-versa.

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