"When interviewing for a scrum master position, make sure to showcase the interpersonal and managerial skills needed to excel in the dynamic environment of product management. Be prepared to answer a variety of situational questions that will assess your ability to manage a team of engineers, prioritize projects, and direct the scrum process. There are several different types of scrum certifications so make sure to research which is necessary for the position you are applying to."
Scrum master Interview Questions in United States
Scrum masters implement the Scrum framework for project management and development teams. Interviewers are searching for individuals with mental agility and strong interpersonal skills. They want to elicit responses that will help them decide whether you have leadership skills and can fit into the existing Scrum system at the company.
Top Scrum Master Interview Questions & How to Answer
Here are three top scrum master interview questions and how to answer them:
Question #1: What do the three pillars of Scrum mean to you?
How to answer: This is basic information that every Scrum master should know. Take advantage of the question to talk about your educational background in Scrum. Carefully list the pillars and how they influence your approach to work. Address any common misconceptions about the pillars to demonstrate your awareness of developments in Scrum theory.
Question #2: Are there any situations in which you would substitute another theory for Scrum?
How to answer: Unless you have an inside scoop on the company, there's no right answer for this question. Some employers are committed to Scrum and would never replace it with another paradigm. Others are flexible and recognize that there are times when Scrum might not be the best theory to use. Be honest and truthful. If you would deviate from Scrum, explain why, and link your answer to Scrum's core principles.
Question #3: How would you effectively communicate with other members of the Scrum team?
How to answer: The Scrum master is the team leader and project manager. The interviewer is assessing your interpersonal skills. In a later interview round, your interviewer may embed you with the company's current Scrum team and view your interactions with the team members.
How would you explain story points to a team who's new to Agile/Scrum?4 Answers
Time vs effort.. teams get hung up on time based estimates. And not about the amount of effort it's going to take to accomplish a task/user story. Less
It’s about demonstrating it to them and comparing the efficacy compare to other frameworks via dissecting a story vertically to the smallest size possible. Less
I said I would talk to them about t-shirt sizing and try several ways to help them understand that story estimation has little to nothing to do with time, rather effort. I also explained that this was a challenging topic for a new team. Less
How did you handle a technical situation?4 Answers
How difficult was the assessment, and would you recommend anything for prepping?
assessments were not that hard in my opinion. I think the interview itself was harder Less
Take a root cause analysis and run with the outcome, reach out to parties involve in solving the issue and give constant update for transparency. Less
1.How will you show the team performance to the higher management as velocity is not the very accurate way?4 Answers
Have you ever tracked velocity? How would you determine a teams Sprint velocity?3 Answers
Team velocity is tracked, using the number of estimated story points, over the actual completed story points. This can be measured on the burndown chart. You can guesstimate your team velocity overtime, from the previous sprints. Less
I said that I had a little bit, as we still had a bit of a challenge on my last team comprehending the burndown chart and how to improve estimates. How to determine it would be based on the Sprints. I kind of fumbled through this one as I really hadn't ever had much velocity tracking training, I just winged it at that time. Less
Velocity is the total story point the team complete in a sprint. It can be tracked in the burndown chart in Jira for instance. Can be determined for an existing team by adding up velocities of 3 sprints and dividing it by 3 to get teams velocity. Less
How would you conduct a Scrum team retrospective?3 Answers
What was your background check process like? How long did it take?
The background check was done by a third party company I believe. It took about a week. They only came back to me with one question around verifying my college degree; I sent back a photo of my college diploma and that closed the item. Otherwise, the background check was non eventful. Less
I would start off by asking about the positive things that happened during the last sprint. Then I would ask about the things that maybe could be done better or would make the team experience smoother. Once these items are all on the table the team would work together to prioritize the improvement items and we would assign action items and owners to get the highest priority items into backlog to work on in an upcoming sprint. Less
Does a Scrum Master have to have experience with data warehousing in order to be a good Scrum Master for a data warehousing team?2 Answers
A chicken farmer must create an environment conducive to laying eggs, but need not accomplish that task personally. Less
The clerk in the store doesn't need to know how to grow strawberries; she just needs to know the process of ringing them up and getting them to the customer. So no, Scrum Masters don't need to know, in-depth, about data warehousing an business intelligence to help a team transition to scrum. Less
Which one of the Scrum "events" would you remove if you had to?2 Answers
All scrum events have specific purpose in the scrum as per scrum guide. I would not remove any events, Less
The Sprint planning. Downsides: this would lead the Team to not commit to a Sprint goal, and work "sprinting" towards it. Also, possibly decrease effectiveness, due to the "Parkinson's law" effect. Upsides: still have all the other events to keep the quality and speed of work delivered. Team will move to a "kanban" work-style, still effective, but for different purpose. Less