Top 33 Scrum Master Interview Questions (Example Answers Included)

By Mike Simpson

In a way, Scrum Masters are Sherpas, helping teams navigate the mountainous terrain that is a project. They help keep development efforts on target, ensuring companies can achieve their project goals using proven methods and reliable frameworks. But, even if it sounds similar, they aren’t project managers; they’re something different. And, today, Scrum Masters are in-demand.

In total, there are over 439,500 certified Scrum professionals around the world. While that may sound like a lot, it really isn’t. That’s why Scrum Master positions can be so lucrative. Demand seriously outpaces supply, so companies have to up their compensation to attract top-tier talent. The median salary for these professionals is $98,239 a year, and it’s likely to go up as more companies adopt the methodology. Nice, right?

Well, if you want to snag this job, there’s one thing you need to do: nail your Scrum Master interview questions. Let us show you how to pull it off.

How to Answer Scrum Master Interview Questions

Before we get started with the example Scrum Master interview questions, let’s pause for a moment and talk about something critical to your success: your interview strategy.

Even if you practice questions you find online until you’re blue in the face, it’s impossible to anticipate every possible one you could face. There’s always a chance a hiring manager will deviate from the norm, throwing you a curveball you have to deal with one the fly.

Without a solid strategy, coming up with a great response when you’re on the spot can be surprisingly difficult. Now, this doesn’t mean you should panic or skip out on reviewing the Scrum Master interview questions. Instead, it means you should also come up with a reliable approach for handling an interview, ensuring you can juke and jive should the need arise.

So, how do you do that?

Well, first, you do a bit of research. By taking a look at the Scrum Master job description, you can see what the hiring manager considers must-haves. Essentially, if the hiring manager made a point to mention something specific, there’s an excellent chance they’ll want you to talk about it during the interview. Figure out how to discuss it, ensuring you’re ready when that happens.

Next, if you want to add some flare to your answers, head on over to the company’s website and social media profiles. Review the mission and values statements to learn more about what the organization finds important, giving you a chance to weave those details into your answers. Learn about the company’s culture and recent achievements, giving you more tidbits you can reference to stand out from the pack.

Then, take a look at a wide range of job interview questions, and practice working the details you’ve learned into a variety of responses. This will make you more agile (pun intended) when you interview, making it easier for you to take what you know and adjust it to fit a variety of questions.

MIKE'S TIP: Technically, the Scrum Master job description and project manager job description each have very different goals, priorities, and defining characteristics. However, project managers may have to face off against Scrum Master interview questions, and Scrum Masters might have to answer project manager interview questions. Why? Because some companies assume (at times, mistakenly) that if you can do one of these jobs, you can handle the other, or are looking for someone who can wear both hats, at least to a degree. If you’re interviewing for either of those roles, consider reviewing interview questions for the other. That way, if the hiring manager dips into the other bag for a question, you won’t be caught completely off-guard.

Okay, but what behavioral interview questions? What do you do if a question doesn’t technically have a right or wrong answer?

For those, having a strategy is also your friend. Take the STAR Method and the Tailoring Method, blending them together, and you’ve got a can’t-miss formula for success. You’ll be able to create engaging responses with greater ease, ensuring the impression you make on the hiring manager is as positive as possible.

Top 3 Scrum Master Interview Questions

Now that you have a winning strategy by your side, let’s take a look at what you came here for: the Scrum Master interview questions and example answers. While every Scrum Master job description will be a bit different, most of them are built in the same fundamental ideas.

As a result, there’s a strong chance you’ll face off against certain questions no matter what, or that practicing them will at least provide you with value. Here’s a look at the top three Scrum Master interview questions and some sample answers.

1. Are Agile and Scrum the same thing? Why or why not?

There can be a bit of confusion surrounding Agile and Scrum. Hiring managers may ask you to discuss whether the two concepts are the same to ensure you understand the nuances of each, as well as how they relate to one another.

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

“Agile and Scrum aren’t exactly the same thing. Agile is a set of four core values and 12 principles, each designed to encourage greater efficiency and reduce risk. The group of methodologies and tenets focuses on iterative approaches and creating collaborative, cross-functional teams that promote success.

Scrum falls under the larger Agile umbrella, serving as a framework to ensure teams can become or remain Agile. Essentially, it’s a subset that provides a bit more specificity, outlining specific practices, like the use of sprints, to keep the team Agile.”

2. In your own words, what does a Scrum Master do?

This is another question designed to make sure a candidate actually understands what a Scrum Master role is all about. Plus, it lets them know what kind of activities you are prepared to take on, as you probably won’t mention a duty that you aren’t equipped to handle.

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

“A Scrum Master’s core responsibility is to make sure that the team adheres to the Scrum framework. A significant part of the job involves guiding and coaching others, facilitating success by ensuring everyone remains focused and that their efforts are coordinated. In the simplest terms, Scrum Masters handle the process, relying on their framework expertise and leadership capabilities to ensure everyone else follows the proper workflows.”

3. Can you describe how you would lead a daily Scrum meeting?

Daily standup meetings are fundamental for many Agile approaches, including Scrum. Scrum Masters take the reigns and lead these gatherings each morning, ensuring they are fully aware of everyone’s status, plans for the upcoming day, and potential obstacles the team may face.

The hiring manager is looking for a glimpse into how you ensure important details are discussed. Generally, a solid overview of your typical approach is sufficient.

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

“For the daily Scrum meetings, I begin with a quick overview of the tasks that were planned for the previous day. After that, I ask each team member to discuss whether they met their goals for that day. Next, I request an overview of what they plan on tackling today, as well as if they are facing any challenges that could make achieving their objectives difficult. Finally, I would work with the team to consider how various obstacles could be overcome, increasing the odds of overall success.”

30 More Scrum Master Interview Questions

Here are 30 more Scrum Master interview questions you might encounter:

    1. What is the difference between Scrum and traditional project management?
    2. Are there instances where a waterfall approach should be favored over Scrum?
    3. Are you familiar with other Agile frameworks? If so, which ones?
    4. Which Scrum ceremony is most critical? Why?
    5. What is a story point?
    6. Describe the relationship between the Scrum Master and the product owner.
    7. Do you have your Scrum Master certification?
    8. What is your experience with automated testing? Do you feel it has a place in Scrum?
    9. How do you reach when someone wants to change a project requirement?
    10. Do you believe that a Scrum team should be a part of the product discovery process? Why or why not?
    11. What is a user story, and why is it important?
    12. What is the average length of your typical sprint?
    13. Is velocity a good representation of productivity potential? Why or why not?
    14. How do you determine if Agile is successful when working for a company?
    15. As a Scrum Master, which metrics provide you with the most value regarding tracking a project’s progress?
    16. Do you have experience overseeing multiple Scrum teams simultaneously?
    17. When you get a team that is new to the Scrum process, how do you motivate them to follow the framework?
    18. Define “definition of ready.”
    19. If there is conflict on your team, how do you address it?
    20. How would you react if a team member wanted to place design and implementation into one sprint, and testing into a different one?
    21. If the product owner began assigning user stories to team members without consulting you first, what would you do?
    22. What steps do you take to calculate the velocity and capacity of your Scrum team?
    23. If your team’s velocity is unstable, what may be causing the issue?
    24. What steps would you take it a Scrum team member consistently missed the daily meetings?
    25. If the product owner wants a user story included in the upcoming sprint, but it won’t be ready until the day after the sprint begins, what would you do?
    26. Does a Scrum Master need technical expertise in the product niche to succeed? Why or why not?
    27. What trait is most critical to your success as a Scrum Master?
    28. Tell me about a time your Scrum team was on the path toward failure. What did you do to bring things back around?
    29. What would you do if a product owner wanted to alter a sprint that was already in progress?
    30. What do you find more challenging, leading a team that’s new to Scrum or dealing with a first-time product owner? Why?

5 Good Questions to Ask at the End of a Scrum Master Interview

When your interview begins to come to a finish, there’s a decent chance that you’ll get to ask a few questions of your own. It’s a critical opportunity that you don’t want to miss.

By asking the right questions, not only can you showcase your enthusiasm for the role by asking smart questions, but you can also learn vital details that you may otherwise miss.

Cool, right?

While there’s nothing that says you can’t come up with questions on the fly, it’s also wise to have some prepared in advance. That way, you’ll have a few ready to go no matter what, ensuring you don’t come up blank when the hiring manager asks, “Do you have any questions for me?”

If you aren’t sure what you could ask, here are five great questions for the end of your Scrum Master interview:

    1. How long has the company been using Agile practices? What about Scrum specifically?
    2. Are there any duties that deviate from the standard Scrum Master responsibilities, such as those leaning more into the project management field?
    3. What metrics are used to define success for this role?
    4. Can you tell me about the average day for a person here in this position? What about the most challenging day?
    5. Will this role oversee just one Scrum project at a time, or several?

Putting It All Together

Ultimately, by using the tips above, you can increase your odds of professional success. You’ll be ready to handle any of the Scrum Master interview questions the hiring manager sends your way, ensuring you make a great impression.

You’re an exceptional candidate. So, use the information above to your advantage, allowing you to put your best foot forward each and every step of the way.

Good luck!

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About The Author

Mike Simpson

Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com. His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan, Penn State, Northeastern and others. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page.