This week on Authority Engine TV, we are answering one of our listener’s questions: should you use scripted interviews or is it better to haven an open conversation during your conversations with your guests? This debate his been going on for quite some time now and, in reality, it comes down to what you want to get out of the show as an interviewer. Tune in as we discuss the pros and cons of each and help you decide which style of interviews suits you best.


Subscribe via iTunes

In This Episode, You’ll Discover:

  • An exciting announcement: Authority Engine’s new brand: Small Business Podcasting.
  • Three main reasons why you would want to use the scripted format.
  • Who the open discussion interview format is primarily for.
  • The benefits of open conversation interviews.
  • How to find a happy medium between those methods.


[Tweet ” Scripted interviews are great if you’re just getting started interviewing. “]

[Tweet “Open discussion interviews allow for variation that listeners will look forward to.”]

Hey everybody and welcome back. Today I’m going to be answering one of our client’s questions here at Authority Engine which is when you’re going to figure out your interviews and structure your interviews for your podcast, should I use scripted questions or should I use an open conversational flow? That’s what we’re going to dive in today. I’m Ben Krueger. This is Authority Engine TV where I’m dedicated to helping you grow your business using the power of podcast marketing every Thursday morning.

All right folks. We’re going to cover how to figure out the best interview format for you. We’re also going to have a quick announcement here. We’re going to start off with that. I want you guys to know that here at Authority Engine, we just launched a brand new brand called Small Business Podcasting. You can find it at That is where all of our Done-For-You services will now be. All of our launch services, all of our podcast production services and our audit services.

I had to take a quick cut because there was an airplane going overhead. That was my announcement. We’re really excited to go live with that this week. Check that out. Done For You services to help you build your business using the power of podcast marketing.

All right. How do you format your interviews? The question really comes down to what you want to get out of the show as an interviewer. You’ll see there’s a lot of people that use different types but it’s because they’re going for different things.

Let’s take for example the structured, script type questions interview format. This is something that’s used by a lot of people out there. John Dumas uses this for Entrepreneur On Fire. There’s quite a few other people that use this and it’s great for a couple things. It’s great for if you’re doing a lot of episodes. If you’re doing a ton of episodes and you don’t have time to necessarily research all the people you’re bringing on the show really in depth so where you can get questions that really tailor towards them.

It’s also great for you as an interviewer if you’re just getting started interviewing, you’re not very comfortable with thinking on your feet or “on the fly” and it’s really great if you want to have the same structure for every episode. Those kind of the three main reasons why that is really, really a good thing.

For more the loose format of discussion, there’s everything from- we’ve got a couple of topics that we want to talk about. We’re just going to wing it and see what happens. I like this approach for people who are a little bit more experienced with interviewing and they’ve got a little bit more personality. It allows for a little bit more variation from episode to episode so that your listenership doesn’t get really used to the exact same format every time and they know that every time they come they’re going to get something a little bit different.

It’s really great to allow you as the host to dive in and get really deep in some areas with an interview guest that if you had that structured question system, then you wouldn’t be able to dive down into some of the details when you found something interesting.

For example, if somebody has a really interesting story about how they got started and they tell that story. It makes you think of, oh man if I was a listener to this show, I would really love to hear about this, but you’ve already got that structured question system, it doesn’t allow for that kind of flexibility so much.

Here’s the approach that I take to give you a little bit of structure, but not have you super regimented if you want to use a balance of both. That’s really what I like to do as a host and I think this makes a lot of sense for podcasters in general.

When I have an interview, the best approach is to- I take down three different broad topics that I want to cover with that interview guest. I’m talking bullet points. I don’t get very detailed at all. I just say, I want to cover calls to action, I want to cover taking people from listener to customer, and I want to cover the fact that they use case studies in their episodes, or whatever those three things may be.

Then we go into the episode, we get a little bit of a conversation going, and I’ll steer towards that first topic. If I really like what we’ve got there, if the content’s really great, I’ll dive deeper. It allows me that flexibility of going on the fly. Really, that’s how I operate best, is just in conversational mode and just going with it mode. It also gives me that structure to where I don’t think, oh crap, what were those things that I wanted to talk about? That is the best way that I’ve found to do it personally. For you it depends on how you want your show to go, the volume of episodes that you’re putting out, the quality of guests that are coming on your show.

All right. Thank you guys for coming out. I encourage you to check out That’s where all of our services are hosted. It’s a brand new brand that we’re going live with this week. Don’t worry, Authority Engine will always still be there. That’s where the TV show’s going to be, that’s where the podcast is and all the education stuff. Don’t fret. That’s where all of our Done For You services will now be under

Again I’m Ben Krueger. This has been another episode of Authority Engine TV. I encourage you all to go out, record, engage, and convert with your podcast marketing.