Before heading out for your scrum master job interview, do check out our list of top 40 agile scrum master interview questions to crack this job opportunity!
Scrum framework is becoming the top choice of the organizations, as they have started realizing the benefits of adopting agile methodology.
As the demand of the scrum framework is witnessing unprecedented growth, so is the requirement of competent scrum master is shooting up! Because they are the ones who ensures team aligns to the Scrum frameworks and successfully completes the assigned project.
Scrum Masters with formal Scrum training and agile certifications have higher salaries than those without. This information will give you another reason to prepare hard for your scrum master interview questions.
According to reports, the median base salary of the role is USD 103,000 and it has a year-over-year job growth of 2,000+.
As per LinkedIn’s survey reports- The Scrum Master role is found at the #10 position in the LinkedIn’s release of the most promising jobs of 2019.
Here are our top 40 scrum master interview questions and answers–
Scrum Master Interview Questions
1. Explain Agile
Agile is a framework of approaches and behavior that encourage “just-in-time” production that enables customers to receive quality software sooner.
2. What Are the Roles in Scrum?
Scrum prescribes only 3 roles:
- Product Owner
- Scrum Master
- Delivery Team
These roles ideally be cross-functional and not shared among other projects. Many Scrum Masters have not had the opportunity to work with a team that was cross-functional or dedicated due to the organization’s resistance.
Also, this may lead the interviewer to ask how you would handle working with a team that did not have a designer or tester within the team or how you would handle a team that was not dedicated. So, be prepared to answer connected , relevant questions as well in your scrum master interview questions.
3. What is a Daily Stand-Up?
Every day, preferably in the morning, the team meets for not more than 15 minutes to discuss 3 questions:
1. What did you do yesterday?
2. What do you plan on doing today?
3. Are there any blocks that keep you from doing your work?
This Scrum ceremony is not supposed to be a status meeting for stakeholders, it is only a medium to energize the team and get the momentum going for the rest of the day.
4. What is a Scrum? What is the Role of Scrum Master?
No scrum master interview questions list is complete without this crucial question!
- Scrum is a processed framework meant to help teams develop projects in an iterative, incremental manner. The process is organized in cycles of work called Sprints.
- These cycles do not last more than 4 weeks each (usually 2 weeks), and are timeboxed. Timeboxed means they end on a fixed specific date, whether the work is completed or not. They are never extended.
- At the beginning of each Sprint, the team chooses one of the project’s tasks from a prioritized list. They agree on a common goal of what they believe they can deliver at the completion of the Sprint, something that is tangible and realistic. During the Sprint, no additional tasks should be added.
- The team meets every day to review their progress and adjust the steps needed to complete the remaining work.
- At the end of the Sprint, the team reviews the work cycle with the stakeholders and shows the end product. With the feedback they get, they plan the next Sprint.
- Scrum emphasizes obtaining a working product at the completion of each Sprint. When talking about software, this means a system that is integrated, tested, end-user documented, and shippable.
The Scrum Master serves the team by providing collaboration on all fronts and motivate them to deliver the best result.They remove blocks, teach the team to become self-organized and serve as a coach who teaches Agile and Scrum values and principles.
The Scrum Masters are responsible for supporting and promoting Scrum and shields the team from any distractions that could prevent them from completing a sprint goal.
5. Explain the Difference Between Agile & Scrum
Agile has 4 main values and 12 principles, it is a broader concept under which Scrum falls.
Scrum has its own set of values and principles and provides a lightweight “framework” to help teams become Agile.
6. Name Some of the Agile Frameworks
- Agile-Agile Hybrid
- Agile Manufacturing
- Agile-Waterfall Hybrid
- Agnostic Agile
- Domain-Driven Design (DDD)
- Extreme Programming (XP)
- FAST Agile
- Large Scale Scrum (LeSS)
- Lean Software Development
7. Is It Okay If Someone Wants to Change the Requirement?
Yes. Agile encourages frequent feedback from customers and stakeholders so that the product can be improved.
8. What is Velocity?
Velocity is the average number of points from past 3 – 4 sprints. It is used to help predict when backlog items will be delivered.
9. What is a Burn-out Chart?
A burn-down chart displays the amount of work a team has burned through—such as hours during the sprint.
10. What is a Use-Story in Scrum?
A user story creates a simplified description of user’s requirements.
A user story is a tool used in agile software development that collects the description of a feature from an end-user perspective.
Also, it describes the type of users and their motivations.
11. What are the Main Artifacts of Scrum Process
- Product Backlog
- Sprint Backlog
- Product Increment
12. What is the Role of Product Owner?
The Product Owner focuses on the success of the product, ensuring the business value of it.
Their main responsibility is to identify and refine the Product Backlog items.
13. How Does the Scrum Master Helps the Product Owner?
- Efficient Product backlog management
- Helping the Scrum team in sharing a common goal
- Understanding and practicing agility
- Promoting Scrum events as requested or needed
14. Why is Agile Methodology Necessary?
- It helps in achieving customer satisfaction with the rapid delivery of useful software.
- It eases potential changing requirements, even late in a company’s development.
- Repeatedly delivers working software, the main measurement of progress.
- It provides close, daily cooperation between the company and the developers.
- Having self-organizing teams brings self-motivated teams.
- In situations of co-location, it assists communication through face-to-face conversations.
- It offers continuous attention to XP.
- It adds simplicity.
15. What Are the Main Tools Used in Scrum Project?
- Version One
16. How Do You Motivate a Team New to Scrum?
Maybe you’ve assembled a new team that is not practiced in scrum or agile. They’re more interested in working and find meetings only interrupt their progress. Has the candidate ever been in such a situation and, if so, how did they handle it? This question relates to the one above, only in a more specific scenario that might speak to your concerns.
17. How is Estimation In a Scrum Project done? What Are the Techniques Used for Estimation?
Estimation in Scrum project is done using relative Agile estimation techniques, they are-
- T-shirt estimation technique
- Planning poker estimation
- Estimation by analogy technique
- Disaggregation estimation technique
18. What Types of Requirements Did You Use for Your Teams?
Requirements in Scrum are written as user stories using a standard, “As a ___, I want___ so that I can ___.”
As a Scrum Master, you don’t necessarily write user stories, but you would assist the Product Owner to ensure that user stories are written, prioritized, and ready for the sprint.
19. Describe a Time When Your Delivery Team Members didn’t Seem to be Getting Along. How Did you Handle this?
Your interviewer is looking for your leadership qualities by asking you this question.
You can talk about the problems you had and how you addressed them by providing an appropriate solution.
You can focus on mainly these points-
- How did you encouraged conflicting team members to work together?
- Was it a team-building exercise?
- Did you make sure they had a common goal?
20. When Should You use Waterfall Over Scrum?
Use waterfall if the requirements are simple, predictable, fully defined and understood, and will not change.
21. What Are the Differences Between Agile and Traditional Project management (Waterfall)?
Agile encourages a little bit of everything, including design, development, and testing is done at the same time. Agile encourages short, frequent feedback loops and embraces changes to requirements.
In Waterfall, feedback is usually not collected until the very end of the project, and changes are discouraged.
22. Would you Recommend Automated Testing for Your Project?
Scrum encourages the use of automated performance or regression testing so that you can continuously deliver software as quickly as possible.
You can talk about automated testing tools your teams have used in the past jobs.
23. What Are the Roles Involved in the Scrum Framework?
Scrum framework has 3 roles-
- Scrum Master
- Product Owner
- Development team
24. What is the Purpose of a Daily Scrum?
The daily Scrum meeting is for the team. It helps them self-organize towards their sprint commitment and set the context for the next day’s work.
25. What Are the Most Common Risks in a Scrum Project?
- A scope creep
- Timeline issues
- Budget issues
26. How Many Scrum Teams Have You Managed at One Time?
You may be required to lead more than 1 team in the new role, so answer accordingly. It is always great if you are an experienced leader with many achievements to talk about.
27. What do You Understand by Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in Scrum?
An MVP is a product with the minimum required features to be shown to the stakeholders and be eligible to ship for production.
28. What is the Major Advantage of Using Scrum?
Early feedback and the production of the MVPs (Minimal Viable Product) to the stakeholders, are found to be the main advantages.
29. What Are the Disadvantages of Scrum?
- Daily Scrum meetings require frequent reviews and substantial resources.
- A successful project relies on the maturity and dedication of the whole team.
- The uncertainty of the product, the changes, and frequent product delivery remain present during the Scrum cycle.
- It depends on significant change.
30. What Happens In the Sprint Planning Meeting?
In Sprint Planning, the Product Owner presents the goal of the sprint and discusses the high priority product backlog items. The Delivery team then chooses the amount of work they can complete for the next sprint.
31. What Are the 5 Phases of Risk Management?
- Risk identification
- Risk categorization
- Risk response
- Risk review
- Risk closure
32. How Long were Your Sprints?
Answer-An ideal sprint length is between one and four weeks, with a two-week sprint being the most widely used.
33. How Does a Scrum Master Serve the Organisation?
- Helping in Scrum adoption
- Acting as an Agile change agent
- Helping the team increasing productivity
- Ensuring the iterative incremental cycle of continuous improvement. The dot voting technique is often used for this
- Supporting Agile leadership principles, leading to organizational transformation
34. What is Timeboxing in Scrum?
Timeboxing means allotting a fixed unit of time for an activity. The unit of time is called a time box.
The maximum length of a time box should be 15 minutes.
35. What Do you Understand By the Term Scope Creep? How Do you Prevent it From Happening?
When the requirements are not properly defined at the start and new features are added to the product already being built, a scope creep occurs.
To prevent SCOPE CREEP:
- The requirements must be clearly specified.
- The project progress must be monitored.
- Effective grooming of sprint backlog must be done.
36. What is Retrospective?
Answer- A retrospective is a meeting to inspect and adapt the process. This Agile methodology question is looking for the many ways to conduct a retrospective—so be ready to explain one or two formats at least!
37. What Does DoD Mean? How Can This be Achieved?
Definition of Done is formed by a list of tasks that define the work’s quality. It is used to decide whether an activity from the Sprint backlog is completed.
38. What Do you Understand By the Term Scrum Sprint? What Is Its Duration?
Answer- A Scrum Sprint is a repeatable cycle during which work is completed and made ready for review.
The duration of the Scrum Sprint depends on the size of the project and the team working on it (Generally, it is under 30 days).
39.Is Canceling a Sprint Possible? Who Can Cancel a Sprint?
A Sprint can be canceled before the Sprint timebox limit ends. Only the Product Owner can cancel the sprint.
40. What Type of Metrics or Reports Have you Used?
Sprint, release burn-down and burn-up charts are standard reports. Most companies also want to understand how many stories were committed versus completed per sprint and the number of defects identified post-release to production.
Crucial Tips While Preparing for Scrum Master Interview Questions:
- Revise the most commonly asked and most important subject related questions.
- Do previous research on the company you are appearing for an interview
- Be positive and confident.
- End the interview on a positive note.
We hope you find our list of top 40 scrum master interview questions and answers useful for your upcoming job interview. Please note, there are many questions in scrum interviews that do not have a direct answer due to situational responses, as per the relevance of the organization’s needs, perspective and common sense of the candidate.
So, do take care of those aspects as well and try to emulate a broader understanding of the scrum master, agile methods & concepts that scrum framework embodies before heading out for a one-on-one.
In addition to all this, make sure you are prepared well to answer general questions also and having a scrum master certification from a good recognized organisation would always make your resume standout among other candidates.
If you have any queries/ suggestions/ feedback related to this article please leave them in the comments section below and we will revert as soon as possible. And, don’t forget to share your interview experience with us as well!
What are the Top Qualities to Look out for in a Scrum Master?
1. A firm grasp of servant leadership and facilitation
2. A relentless approach to the pursuit of continuous improvement
3. A good relationship with the team and a certain degree of influence
4. A breadth of product, market, and domain knowledge
What are Scrum Interview Questions?
Here are Agile Scrum Interview Questions and Answers- 1 Explain Agile in 30 seconds.
2 Agile is a framework of approaches and behaviors that encourage “just-in-time” production that enables customers to receive quality software sooner.
3 What are the differences between Agile and traditional project management (Waterfall)?
4 Agile encourages that a little of everything, including design, development, and testing is done at the same time.
What are the disadvantages of Scrum?
There are many, even when implemented “by the book”- 1. It sets a significant overhead: usual ceremonies tend to take 20-25% of the working time of EVERY team-member.
What do you need to know about Scrum Interviews?
Whether this is your first Scrum role or you are a seasoned pro, it’s always helpful to know how to prepare for an Agile interview.
Some of the top companies that use Agile and Scrum include Apple, Google, Valve, Philips, and more—so you’ll definitely want to be ready
What Companies use Agile & Scrum
Some of the top companies that use Agile and Scrum include Apple, Google, Valve, Philips, and more—so you’ll definitely want to be ready to answer the kinds of interview questions the best Agile and Scrum organizations would use.
What do all the Agile Frameworks have in common?
The Agile project methodology is a project management approach that uses four key pillars and 12 principles to organize projects. One thing all Agile frameworks have in common is that they’re all designed to support the achievement of these pillars and principles.
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