10 Scrum Master Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 26 January 2023

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A scrum master ensures efficient project planning to deliver a product or service. An employer hires a scrum master to align the team efforts with the client requirement. Learning about the interview process may help you better prepare for it. In this article, we discuss several scrum master interview questions along with example answers you may refer to for preparation.

Related: How To Prepare For A Job Interview

10 scrum master interview questions

Here are some scrum master interview questions an employer may ask:

1. What is the difference between Agile and Scrum?

Scrum is a specific Agile methodology to manage and facilitate a project. Employers may ask this question to assess your understanding of the key differences and similarities between Agile and Scrum. Sharing experiences with the theoretical differences and similarities between the two may be beneficial.

Example: "Agile and Scrum are project management methodologies. They focus on receiving client feedback by releasing the product or services in stages. Scrum focuses on greater team collaboration and breaks the project into consistent sprint periods. Agile depends on a project manager leading a team. In the Scrum methodology, the scrum master ensures the team receives all the resources they require for the project, plans their tasks and ensures timely completion of each sprint. I have worked in both Agile and Scrum environments. I would choose Scrum as it offers the flexibility to work with my team to meet client expectations."

Related: 37 Common Agile Interview Questions With Example Answers

2. What is the scrum of scrums?

Scrum of scrums is a way to connect multiple teams on a single project. With this question, an employer may want to assess your understanding of this technique, its difficulties and ability to tackle them. Sharing examples of past collaborative efforts, including coordinating between teams, may be helpful.

Example: "Scrum of scrums is an agile technique that expands collaboration between multiple teams on a single project. It requires adaptation and transparency between teams to ensure the timely delivery of interdependent sprints. I coordinated between development, testing and client teams to deploy an application within three months at my previous job."

3. What is user mapping?

User mapping is an essential part of Scrum methodology. Employers often ask this question to assess your ability to use system functionalities and provide appropriate service to the customer in the product development process. You may provide examples of experiences of using user mapping to improve a product.

Example: "User mapping is an Agile approach to planning user stories in two independent dimensions. The horizontal axis represents a user's goals and aspirations, while the vertical axis describes their level of sophistication. This process helps align system functionalities, system backlog and plan a release that adds more value to the customer. At my previous job, we often used this technique to work with clients and derive an extensive understanding of the user to build customer-centric products."

4. What is zero planning?

Zero planning or Sprint Zero refers to the preparation phase of a project cycle. In the interview, you may explain the importance of zero planning to demonstrate your understanding of its definition. You can also provide a suitable example that showcases your use of zero planning in a project and its effect on the result.

Example: "Zero planning is essential for any project and happens at the start of the project cycle to align the teams, resources and timelines to deliver the requirement. As a scrum master, this phase helps me gain a complete understanding of the client requirement. I then align the team, resources and chart weekly sprints the team can achieve. I believe using zero planning helps maintain the uniqueness of a project and deliver better results."

Related: 19 Essential Project Management Skills To Master

5. Do you believe daily stand-up sessions are essential?

Daily stand-up sessions help understand the progress and provide help whenever required. As a scrum master, you may illustrate how using these sessions helped improve the course of a project. An employer often asks this question to assess your team building and project management skills.

Example: "Yes, I believe a daily stand-up session is essential. It provides a chance for the team to collaborate, assist each other and bring a better direction to the project. I conduct a daily stand-up with all the units I work with to understand completed, pending and ongoing tasks. It also helps me find out if the team is facing any issues and align resources if necessary. Once the daily stand-up is complete, I hold a follow-up meeting with team members facing issues or requiring clarifications."

6. How do user stories, epics and tasks differ?

User stories, epics and tasks are all essential to a project. An employer aims to assess your understanding of these three primary components in Scrum methodology. You may choose to define these terms by illustrating examples of their use.

Example: "Epics are high-level descriptions of the client requirement. These are complex goals that require the efforts of multiple teams. We break down the epics into user stories that provide the team with a simple explanation of the requirement. User stories illustrate the user perspective. They help devise methods to build a more user-centric product. Tasks are the smallest unit in Scrum. They track the work of an individual or team completed daily or weekly."

7. What function is most important to a project owner?

The project owner typically ensures the success of the project. Explaining the responsibilities of a project owner may show your complete understanding of Scrum. You may discuss one or two roles of a project owner using examples.

Example: "A project owner usually stays calm in a crisis, remains flexible and tracks team progress. In my previous job as a product tester, I encountered an issue with the system functionalities of a project. If left unresolved, it would cost the company more hours, even after the delivery to the client. I informed the project owner, who immediately discussed the issue with the client. Meanwhile, the project owner and our team prepared an alternative plan to address the issue. The client understood the issue and even appreciated the solution."

8. What is DoD?

DoD or Definition of Done sets the standard procedures that mark the completion of a sprint. You may explain DoD by illustrating its benefits to a scrum master in defining a checklist for every task and gaining greater control over the quality of the product. With this question, an employer usually assesses your ability to establish procedures for efficient project execution.

Example: "DoD or Definition of Done helps define a collection of deliverables before deeming a sprint as complete. It includes coding, unit tests, integration tests and even design documents. These deliverables enhance the quality of the product and provide the team with a direction to work. Without meeting DoD, we cannot release a product or present it at a sprint review. I define the DoD for every task at zero planning to align the team with the project requirement. It helps create a checklist for product backlog items and sprint retrospectives."

9. What happens in a sprint retrospective?

A sprint retrospective helps realign goals and review past errors. Explaining how you conduct a sprint retrospective can make your answer effective as it shows your leadership skills. The employer may also find your method unique or identical to their company standards.

Example: "A sprint retrospective helps review past mistakes and issues. When conducting a sprint retrospective, I make it a collaborative effort. Before starting the meeting, I collect feedback on different metrics, including product, issues, ideas and personal obstacles. It prepares the team for the session and makes it fruitful. During the sprint retrospective, I spend time on feedback and re-orient the team on the next steps. I take time to recognise the team's work and encourage them for the next sprint. Sprint retrospectives are an essential part of the Scrum framework to develop and deliver a high-quality product."

Related: 10 Common Leadership Styles

10. What is Scrum-ban?

There is continuous development to improve and make project management more efficient. With this question, an employer may assess your interest and ability to adjust to the latest trends and methodologies. You can explain Scrum-ban by sharing your opinion on the framework or experiences of implementing the same.

Example: "Scrum-ban is an innovative method that combines the flexibility of Scrum with the visualisation of Kanban. It improves the quality of the project by focusing on market-driven data and providing continuous updates to improve the product. Scrum-ban is a useful framework that enables the entire team to transition to Kanban."

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