Scrum is one of the most widely used project management frameworks. In fact, prominent organizations like Google and Apple have adopted Scrum and Agile practices. It’s no wonder other companies are following in their footsteps, as their success is a testament to the effectiveness of this framework.
As the adoption of the Scrum framework continues to grow, the demand for Scrum positions—Scrum master, product owner, and Scrum team—increases exponentially. If you are leveraging this opportunity, below are some of the most common Scrum interview questions you should familiarize yourself with to prepare for your application.
Types of Scrum Interview Questions
An interview for a Scrum position works like a regular job interview. However, it includes Scrum-specific questions so that the hiring manager would know how well you know the framework. Here are the different types of questions you will encounter in an interview:
- General interview questions: These are the questions you usually encounter in a job interview, such as “What can you contribute to the company,” or “Tell us about your work experience.”
- Definitional questions: Since the company is looking for someone who knows the Scrum framework, you can expect them to ask questions about the framework and its methodology. Most of these questions assess your knowledge of Scrum and its related concepts. Be sure to be direct when explaining a term or method, and highlight its importance.
- Behavioral questions: This type of Scrum interview question tests how you handle certain situations. Don’t forget to use your experiences when answering these questions.
Most Common Scrum Interview Question
Different Scrum interview questions may pop up during your interview. However, some of them are usually asked as it helps the hiring manager understand your knowledge for the position. Here are some of the common Scrum interview questions you may encounter, as well as how you can answer them.
1. What Is Scrum?
This is one of the first questions you’ll encounter in your interview, and probably the most obvious one. When answering this, don’t just offer a quick definition. You should talk about its importance to the company and team, the benefits of adopting the Scrum methodology, and how it compares to other project management styles.
Anyone who’s worked with Scrum knows its basic definition. However, it can be difficult to answer it on the spot. That’s why you need to have a solid definition read and some other notes on its value, so you can confidently answer this question.
2. What Are the Limitations of Scrum?
Scrum is famous for all the benefits it offers to a project, but it’s not for every company. A good Scrum master knows the limitations of this methodology and when it’s time to adopt a different framework for a specific project.
In general, Scrum is implemented on teams or industries that expect changes. It’s designed to quickly adapt to any change and function in short periods, so the teams are typically smaller. This makes it difficult for pure Scrum to work effectively with larger teams without modifying the framework.
If there are also restrictions on the project, such as budget or timeline, Scrum isn’t the ideal style. That’s why, when answering this question, mention other project management styles that may be more suited to replace Scrum in different scenarios.
3. Explain the Difference Between Agile and Scrum
Scrum and Agile methodology are sometimes used interchangeably, especially by those who don’t know the difference. For hiring managers to understand how well you know the Scrum framework, they will likely ask you how it differs from the Agile project management style.
So when asked, explain the critical differences between the two styles along with their similarities to showcase your knowledge about the two methods. If you have experience in both Scrum and Agile frameworks, don’t forget to give examples. This will make it easier for you to explain how they’re distinct from each other.
4. What Is the Purpose of a Retrospective?
Don’t respond to this question with a textbook answer. Instead, use this as an opportunity to showcase your ability to assess obstacles and wins. So, when answering, speak from your experience. Explain how you’ve used a retrospective to become a better team member.
Start with the general purpose, and then relate it to one of your experiences where you encountered a challenge. Don’t forget to mention your role in the situation and how you overcome the problem. Then, explain the impact of your actions on the project and team. By doing this, you highlight your ability to respond to challenges and your knowledge of the Scrum framework.
5. What Would You Do if a Team Member Is Unable to Complete a Task for a Sprint?
If you’re applying as a Scrum Master, this is one of the most common questions you’ll encounter. This will allow you to highlight your leadership skills, allowing the interviewer to understand how you handle your team’s problems.
As a Scrum Master, you need to keep your team as effective as possible while ensuring that all their needs are met. So, if one of your team isn’t delivering as expected, you need to have a one-on-one conversation to understand why they weren’t able to complete a task. Then, provide solutions, so they can keep up with the pace. This will create an environment where all your members will feel confident to let you know any issues they run into.
6. What Is Your Favorite Scrum Event?
This question will reveal how well you know Scrum events and give the hiring manager an idea of how you work. Scrum events are divided into four parts: sprint planning, daily Scrum, sprint review, and sprint retrospective. Some people call them ceremonies, so don’t be confused if that’s the term used.
Apart from answering it using your personal experience, don’t forget to mention its importance in the Scrum process. You can say that you like the retrospective event because it gives you the opportunity to grow and learn from previous mistakes, allowing you and the team to improve on the next sprints.
Do Your Research
In addition to learning about the most common Scrum interview questions, you should also do your research about the company you’re applying for. This allows you to tailor-fit your answers to their environment, giving you a better edge over other applicants.
But keep in mind that the interview is a part of the hiring process. You also need to have the right skills and experience to land the Scrum position of your dreams.
Are you starting a new job? Asking yourself these questions will help you feel more prepared before and after accepting a job offer.
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