So a scrum master you say. To ace your next scrum master interview, you will need to take a practice interview and quickly read the best answers for real questions that get asked in real interviews. In the first section, you will find the best answers you will need then at the end of this article, you can take a free scrum master mock interview. This artificial intelligence interview feedback software will give you personalized feedback and you can take the mock interview unlimited times for free.
A scrum master ensures that the agile methodologies and principles are being followed by the team. They ensure that any obstacles are cleared, communication is strengthened and team dynamics are addressed.
The role of a scrum master is extremely significant in organizations where agile methodologies are adopted for developing products or services. The three principles scrum masters implement include transparency, inspection, and adaption.
Scrum Master Interview Questions
The scrum master must be highly qualified and focused to ensure the smooth delivery of products and services. The scrum master interview questions are listed below along with the best answers.
Scrum master interview questions
What is the most important task for a scrum master?
The scrum masters are responsible for planning realistic milestones during a project. This can be done only with sound technical knowledge and a proactive project handling approach.
The most significant skill a scrum master must possess is strong communication. I was working as part of the team working on developing an application and our team had trouble initiating a discussion during one of our meetings.
So being a scrum master, I facilitated that discussion and listed down all the impediments which must be avoided for smooth completion of the product. Being a scrum master, my strong communication skills and agile techniques made my role more effective.
How is agile different from scrum?
Agile and scrum are flexible methods of project management that lead teams to release a product or service on time. These methodologies involve client feedback for improved product quality. An agile methodology involves a project manager leading the team. Whereas, in the scrum, the project is divided into smaller manageable sprints.
The scrum master leads a scrum project and ensures that the team has all the resources for the distraction-free completion of the project. The scrum master also plans tasks to be completed during each sprint.
I have worked in both agile and scrum environments and I would prefer scrum over agile. This is because it helps me work closely with the team members and devise the best ways to complete the tasks at hand effectively and efficiently.
What is the most important part of scrum practice?
The scrum project management method involves various ceremonies and all of them are important. But each activity has to be prioritized by the team members for better handling of tasks.
The daily sprint meeting is an extremely important part of the scrum practice. This is because the purpose of this daily meeting is to discuss team progress, collect feedback and give the team an overview of the product vision and requirements.
What might be the possible reasons for your team’s unstable velocity and failure to meet deadlines?
The possible reasons a scrum master must investigate include the following:
- People leaving or joining the team frequently
- The team isn’t balanced and doesn’t contain an equal fraction of senior and junior employees
- The user stories are not ready and the deadline estimation is not accurate
- The team legacy code is not documented
- The stakeholders involved in the project are intervening constantly and distracting the team
- Poor coding or technical debility
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Is it acceptable for you as a scrum master to have more than 200 tickets in your backlog?
The project backlog contains the list of tasks needed to be done for the completion of the project. The product owners maintain this list to be aware of all the activities being carried out during product development. All these items are prioritized accordingly.
The backlog can have a list of the items needed to be completed during the project. To stay on track, the developers must focus on items with the highest priority.
Can velocity measure your team’s productivity?
Velocity is a good matrix for measuring your team’s capacity. But focusing too much on velocity can decline productivity. This is due to minimizing re-factoring, skipping bug fixation, spending less time on acceptance testing, and reduced communication with end-users.
All these above-mentioned factors can accelerate velocity for the time being but the quality of the product is compromised. A scrum master must ensure that the team maintains an optimized and constant velocity.
How do you deal with team members missing sprint planning meetings frequently?
The scrum master’s responsibility is to keep track of the behavior of team members. If any team members act like sprint meetings are a waste of time, you must talk to them on a personal level. Ask open-ended questions and discuss the significance of the daily sprint meetings and why it’s important for each member to be a part of them.
You can also encourage other team members to discuss how the non-participation of one team member can harm others. They can discuss how it affects the overall productivity of the team and lowers team spirit.
If that team member is still not convinced you can arrange a meeting with the project manager or consider transferring them to another team.
Ready defines the criteria of what information needs to be included in the user story before handing it to the scrum team for estimation. The product owner ensures that all user stories are ready before a sprint is planned.
What would you do if your product owner pushes you to include an incomplete story in an upcoming sprint?
The user stories that are not ready are mostly rejected by the team. But in agile methodologies, people are preferred over processes.
If the other team can provide the remaining details on time, then you must include them. Also, consider the priority of the task and its significance for customers.
But you must tell the product owner that such executions must be rare. This is because it can affect the efficiency of the team and delay product delivery.
How would you distribute your team among refactoring, bug fixing, and exploring new ideas?
The famous technique for team’s capacity distribution include:
- Technical debt: 15%
- Bug fixing: 10%
- Explore new ideas: 5%
This is done to ensure that the code quality is maintained and issues are fixed. The distribution is finalized after discussion with all the product stakeholders.
How would you react if a product owner assigns user stories to specific team members?
The scrum master must maintain a strong working relationship with the product owner. This is necessary for the timely delivery of product updates to the team.
The scrum master must explain to the product owner that direct assignment of user stories can disturb task distribution balance in the team. The product owner doesn’t normally have a clear idea of the individual capacity of the team members. So this action is not recommended.
How do you calculate your team’s velocity and capacity?
Velocity is the average of completed story points in previous sprints. It is used for measuring the capacity of the team members. It helps in determining the number of items to be included in the next sprint.
Capacity represents the availability of team members for the upcoming sprint. The capacity and velocity must be equal ideally. A few factors mentioned below can harm capacity:
- Sick leaves
- New members boarded on team
- Adhoc company events or meetings
How does your company measure agile success?
There are no universal rules for measuring the success of an agile methodology. Every organization creates its standard definition of success based on the daily challenges they are facing. A few indicators include:
- The product increments must meet client requirements. Better retention rates, conversion rates, and increased lifetime value
- The quality of the software must be high. It must not have bugs or technical debts
- Effective resources allocation
- Accelerated team velocity
- Stakeholders eagerly participating in the sprint and agile meetings
- Team members must be happier and must refer friends to open company positions
Why should we involve the scrum team in the product discovery process?
The reasons for involving the scrum team in product discovery include:
- Developers can review user stories and epics and provide feedback on the ones that are technically not unachievable
- The team members and product owners will develop a mutual understanding of the client needs and market trends
- Gives a sense of ownership to team members and motivates them to work harder
Scrum Master Interview Questions Final Thoughts
The scrum master must encourage strong communication between the team members for getting the product delivered on time. They must work hard to ensure that the quality of the product is not compromised. The above-mentioned scrum master interview questions are commonly asked by the recruiters while hiring for this position.