Scrum is one of the most widely used project management frameworks. In fact, leading organizations like Google and Apple have embraced Scrum and Agile practices. It’s no wonder other companies are following in their footsteps, as their success is testament to the effectiveness of this framework.
As adoption of the Scrum framework continues to grow, the demand for Scrum positions (Scrum master, product owner, and Scrum team) is increasing exponentially. If you take advantage of this opportunity, here are some of the most common Scrum interview questions you should familiarize yourself with in preparing for your application.
Types of Scrum Interview Questions
An interview for a Scrum position works like a normal job interview. However, it does include Scrum-specific questions so the hiring manager knows 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 during a job interview, such as “What can you bring to the company” or “Tell us about your work experience”.
- Definition 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 test your knowledge of Scrum and its related concepts. Be sure to be direct when explaining a term or method and emphasize its importance.
- Behavioral questions: This type of Scrum interview question tests how well you handle certain situations. Remember to use your experiences to answer these questions.
Most Common Scrum Interview Question
Different Scrum interview questions may appear during your interview. However, some of them are usually requested because it helps the hiring manager to understand your knowledge for the position. Here are some of the common Scrum interview questions you might encounter, and how you can answer them.
1. What is Scrum?
This is one of the first questions you will come across in your interview, and probably the most obvious. When answering this question, don’t just offer a quick definition. You should talk about its importance to the business and the team, the benefits of adopting the Scrum methodology, and how it compares to other project management styles.
Anyone who has worked with Scrum knows its basic definition. However, it may be difficult to answer them on the spot. That’s why you need to read a solid definition and some other notes on its value, so you can confidently answer this question.
2. What are the limits of Scrum?
Scrum is famous for all the benefits it brings to a project, but it’s not for every business. A good Scrum master knows the limitations of this methodology and knows when it’s time to adopt a different framework for a specific project.
In general, Scrum is implemented in teams or industries that expect changes. It’s designed to adapt quickly to any changes and run for short periods of time, so teams are typically smaller. This makes it difficult for pure Scrum to work effectively with larger teams without changing the framework.
If there are also restrictions on the project, such as budget or timeline, Scrum is not the ideal style. Therefore, when answering this question, mention other project management styles that might be better suited to replace Scrum in different scenarios.
3. Explain the difference between Agile and Scrum
Scrum and Agile methodologies are sometimes used interchangeably, especially by those unfamiliar with the difference. For hiring managers to understand how well you know the Scrum framework, they’ll likely ask you how it differs from the Agile style of project management.
So, when asked, explain the key differences between the two styles as well as their similarities to showcase your knowledge of both methods. If you have experience in Scrum and Agile frameworks, don’t forget to give examples. This will make it easier for you to explain how they are distinct from each other.
4. What is the purpose of a retrospective?
Do not answer this question with a classic answer. Instead, use it as an opportunity to show off your ability to assess obstacles and wins. So when you answer, talk about your experience. Explain how you used a retrospective to become a better team member.
Start with the overall goal, then tie it to one of your experiences where you encountered a challenge. Don’t forget to mention your role in the situation and how you overcame the problem. Next, explain the impact of your actions on the project and the team. By doing so, 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 come across. This will allow you to showcase your leadership skills, allowing the interviewer to understand how you handle your team’s issues.
As a Scrum Master, you need to keep your team as efficient as possible while ensuring that all of their needs are met. So, if one of your team members isn’t delivering as expected, you need to have a one-on-one conversation to figure out why they couldn’t complete a task. Then offer solutions so they can keep up. This will create an environment in which all of your members will feel confident to let you know of any issues they encounter.
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.
In addition to answering it using your personal experience, be sure to mention its importance in the Scrum process. You can tell you love the retrospective event because it gives you the opportunity to grow and learn from previous mistakes, allowing you and the team to improve in future sprints.
do your research
Along with learning the most common Scrum interview questions, you should also do your research on the company you’re applying for. This allows you to tailor your answers to their environment, giving you a better edge over other candidates.
But keep in mind that the interview is part of the hiring process. You also need to have the right skills and experience to land your dream Scrum job.
Are you starting a new job? Asking yourself these questions will help you feel better prepared before and after accepting a job offer.
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