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How to Answer Scrum Master Interview Questions

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If you are preparing for your upcoming Scrum Master interview, learning about the different kinds of questions a hiring manager could ask can help you prepare impressive answers. If you practice answers to common Scrum Master interview questions, you can show your ability to work well with a team and stay organized, which are important qualities. Read this article to learn more about Scrum Master interview questions and get tips for preparing for one.

What are the main types of Scrum Master interview questions?

Scrum Master interviews include behavioral questions and role-specific questions. Employers will want to know that you have experience as a Scrum Master and how you handle different projects. You could need to provide answers about your teamwork, problem-solving, critical-thinking and time-management skills. Hiring managers usually also ask questions about your experience and any certifications you may have. 

Scrum Master interview questions and sample answers

Here are some of the most common Scrum Master interview questions you can expect an interviewer to ask you along with some sample responses:

Can you explain the Agile methodology in 30 seconds?

Hiring managers ask this question because they want to know that you have a thorough understanding of the Agile methodology, which is a huge part of being a Scrum Master. Another reason this question is commonly asked is that it tests your ability to communicate clearly and concisely. 

Example: ‘The Agile methodology is an iterative method of software development that emphasizes the importance of communication and feedback. Agile aims to produce tangible results after each iteration. You can best summarize Agile as an approach rather than a step-by-step process.’

What are the main responsibilities of a Scrum Master?

Interviewers ask this question because being a Scrum Master is a niche role and it is important to hire people who know exactly what responsibilities their role entails. When answering this question, be sure to detail the duties you usually perform as a Scrum Master to show you have an understanding of the position.

Example: ‘The main responsibilities of a Scrum Master are to guide a team in following Scrum processes and practicing Agile principles, facilitate discussion and conflict resolution and use a servant leadership style that focuses on the needs of the team and the end customers.’ 

What does velocity mean in the context of a Scrum framework?

Interviewers will commonly ask for a definition of role-specific terms, such as velocity, burn-down charts, story points and sprints. It’s advisable to develop some short one- or two-sentence definitions for these terms before your Scrum Master interview.

Example: ‘Velocity measures the rate at which Scrum teams deliver business value. A simple formula for velocity is the number of story points divided by the number of sprints.’ 

Describe a time when there was a conflict between Scrum team members and tell me how you handled this conflict.

This is a classic behavioral interview question that interviewers like to ask people who will assume responsibility for a team. This question tests how you handle conflict. It’s a good idea to practice the STAR interview method to deliver great answers to behavioral questions. STAR stands for situation, task, action and result. 

Example: ‘I was the Scrum Master of a team working to develop a shopping cart feature for an e-commerce website. Conflict emerged between designers and developers over how the cart should function and look. I adopted a neutral stance, listened to both sides and suggested we used both types of design and A/B test them. Both parties agreed on the compromise and the result was that we got a data-backed decision on which shopping cart worked best, leading to a 10% boost in online sales.’

Why did you want to become a Scrum Master?

Interviewers ask this question because they want to see whether your goals align with what the company needs. Give an honest answer about what interested you about becoming a Scrum Master and how it relates to your career goals. 

Example: ‘I wanted to work in a role at the forefront of technology while also using my strong interpersonal abilities. I am passionate about Scrum and the wider Agile methodology it arises from. I want to facilitate greater innovation and efficiency in Scrum teams.’

General tips for a Scrum Master interview

Here are some interview tips you should consider when preparing for a Scrum Master interview:

Research the company

Showing the interviewer that you took the time to research their company is a surefire way to make a good impression. Research the company’s history, understand its position within the industry and make note of the unique selling points of the company’s products or services. This can help you determine how the Scrum Master role fits within their company.

Ask the interviewer questions

An interview is as much about finding out if a company is suitable for you as it is about you proving you are a good fit for an employer. Ask any questions you can think of that are important for the role but make sure you are thoughtful in what you ask. It is a good idea to ask about the company’s history of using Agile methodologies and Scrum teams because you are unlikely to find this information when researching the company. 

Clarify why you want the role

Know exactly why you want this specific Scrum Master role and relate that to how your abilities match up with what the company wants. You can give a specific answer about why you want the role by reviewing the job description and learning about what you’ll be doing day-to-day.

Follow up with a thank-you note

After you finish your interview, be sure to thank the employer for their time. Send a thank-you email or note within 24 hours to show you’re still interested in the job. Be sure to mention any details about your skills or experience that you didn’t get to talk about in the interview, and ask any other questions you may have thought of after the interview.