Scrum Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

By Kristin Kizer - Feb. 9, 2021
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The first big question, what is Scrum? Scrum is a business framework for project management. The goal is laid out, and people are assigned tasks within their role.

Then, they meet regularly to discuss how to achieve their goal or what progress they’re making. Your list of tasks is referred to as a sprint. And this entire philosophy is typically part of an Agile software development system.

Because the Agile Scrum process is popular with big companies, having this knowledge and experience can help you land your dream job. The trick is, you actually need to know your way around Agile Scrum to answer these questions correctly.

There are a lot of unusual terms in this methodology, so it’s best to prepare for Agile Scrum interview questions.

20 Scrum Interview Questions and Answers

These scrum questions and answers will help you prepare for your job interview, but they’re no substitute for actually knowing Agile project management.

  1. Q: How are Agile and Scrum different?

    A: Agile is broader and is a methodology for project management. Scrum is a form of Agile and describes the process or the framework precisely.

  2. Q: If Scrum is a framework that is part of Agile, are there other Agile frameworks?

    A: Yes, there are. A few of the popular ones include Feature Driven Development, Test Driven Development, and Kanban.

  3. Q: What are the advantages of a scrum?

    A: It can increase your return on investment. Also, the scrum process is continuously improving with regular reviews.

  4. Q: Explain what a sprint is.

    A: The sprint is a smaller time frame where a specific and defined part of a larger project is completed. Most sprints last four weeks, and once they are completed, another one begins.

  5. Q: What is a zero sprint?

    A: Some sprints actually require a little preparation or work to be done before the sprint begins. The work that happens beforehand is considered the zero sprint.

  6. Q: What are the ceremonies in scrum?

    A: There is a planning meeting, a review meeting, and a retrospective meeting.

  7. Q: Explain what a scrum planning meeting is.

    A: A scrum planning meeting is a time when everyone on the team discusses the backlog that they will work on during that sprint. They do this to define the next Sprint Backlog.

  8. Q: What is a Scrum Master?

    A: The Scrum Master is responsible for the Scrum understanding of the entire team. They’re ultimately responsible for the Scrum Team’s effectiveness and are tasked with improving the process throughout each sprint to achieve the desired backlog.

    The scrum master does the following:

    • Tracking and monitoring

    • Full knowledge of requirements

    • Works to reach the goal

    • Process checking master and quality master

    • Avoid detachments

    • Improves team performance

    • Leads meetings

    • Resolves issues

    • Resolves conflicts and impediments

    • Reporting

  9. Q: What is a Product Owner?

    A: The product owner in a Scrum environment is considered the stakeholder. This is the person who has a vision of the project or who brings the project to the team.

    They need to be able to accurately explain their goals so the team and master can figure out the goals needed to complete the task.

  10. Q: What is an Agile Tester, and what are their responsibilities?

    A: An Agile Tester is a person who puts the Agile software development principles into the software testing stage. They need to be very familiar with Agile so they can communicate it to the team and to customers in an efficient and effective manner.

    They also need to understand the scope of the project so they can set the priority of the tasks and balance that against the requirements. There also needs to be an understanding of risks.

  11. Q: What’s a Scrum user story?

    A: The user story is less of a story and more of a sentence. Ideally, it’s one sentence that defines a feature or functionality.

  12. Q: What is Velocity?

    A: Velocity is the rate the team progresses from one sprint to another.

  13. Q: What are impediments?

    A: Impediments are exactly what they sound like. They’re obstacles or issues that slow down the work. They can be just about anything; the important thing to know is that they slow down work and prevent the sprint from proceeding.

  14. Q: Explain what an increment is.

    A: An increment is the total of all product backlog items that are due to be completed during a specific sprint. Each increment includes the sprint increment values that preceded it. Which means it’s a cumulative value.

  15. Q: What is a Daily Stand-Up?

    A: The daily stand-up is a quick meeting held every day where the team touches base on what was done yesterday, what will be done today, and if there are any impediments that have occurred.

  16. Q: Explain what burn-up and burn-down charts are.

    A: A burn-up chart depicts the amount of work that has been completed in a project. On the other side is the burn-down chart that shows you how much work still has to be done.

  17. Q: What is the Scrum of Scrums?

    A: If there is a task that has several different teams assigned, each taking responsibility for their section of the task. Those smaller task-oriented teams have scrum meetings.

    But to pull all of their individual working elements together, there needs to be a scrum meeting that coordinates the functions between the teams.

    Usually, an ambassador from each of the scrum teams is selected to represent the entire team in the Scrum of Scrums.

  18. Q: What is Planning Poker in Scrum?

    A: Sometimes called Scrum Poker, it’s a card-based technique that can be used for planning and estimating. Cards are used with differing values. The estimator and the product owner discuss the project, and the estimator picks a poker card with the level of difficulty or time they assign to the project.

    After estimators do this with the product owner, they compare their estimated card numbers. If they agree, then that’s the value or the difficulty level that’s given to the project.

    If they don’t, then they need to discuss their feelings that cause the difference. After that, cards are again selected until there is a general agreement.

  19. Q: How is scrum different from waterfall?

    A: There are several differences: feedback from the customer comes in earlier in scrum than waterfall, scrum uses a collaborative approach, and waterfall divides into phases. Accommodating changes is also easier in a scrum process.

  20. Q: Are there times when you’d choose to use waterfall over scrum?

    A: Yes. The waterfall method is good when the customer’s requirements are easy to understand and implement, and no changes are expected until the project is completed.

Open-Ended Scrum and Agile Interview Questions

While there are some questions in an interview that will be direct and have specific answers, you’re also going to encounter others that are very open-ended and rely on your specific experience.

We obviously can’t give you the answers to these questions because they’re unique and based on individual results. But, by giving you the questions you might encounter, we’re giving you a chance to plan some of your answers.

At the very least, you can anticipate some of these questions and not be blindsided.

  1. Q: What are some of the drawbacks of using Scrum, and explain a time when you’ve dealt with the drawbacks and how you overcame them.

  2. Q: Explain how using Scrum helped a project you worked on. Be specific about the project and how using Scrum over another process or framework made the outcome better or faster.

  3. Q: Explain your experiences with user story mapping and estimation of stories. What was your role, and what techniques did you employ to get successful results?

  4. Q: Detail a particular impediment and how it disrupted your Scrum flow. How did you overcome the impediment, or did you work around it? Explain the situation in detail.

  5. Q: Tell us how you use backlog grooming and what it does. Cite a specific example, if you can, or create a hypothetical situation where you’d implement grooming and how.

The Benefits of Scrum

Scrum is becoming a very popular tool in business, and this is because it has many benefits when it’s followed correctly:

  • Quicker completion of projects

  • Better quality

  • Improved productivity

  • Lower costs

  • Flexibility and adaptability to change

  • Boosted employee morale

  • Improved end-user satisfaction

One of the best features of using a Scrum framework is that instead of doing one task and then moving on to the next one, the tasks are done simultaneously by different teams.

This is supported by the integral adaptability that manages change as it happens rather than stopping to deal with change and then picking it back up.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to find a job that uses Scrum as a part of the Agile process, your best bet is to become very familiarized with the process and learn to use it.

It doesn’t matter what part of the project you’re assigned to. You can always learn about other areas by watching and asking questions. You’ll learn the most by analyzing how the process works and how it adapts and succeeds or fails.

It doesn’t hurt to expand your knowledge base beyond Scrum to learn more Agile frameworks and Agile Project Management. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with other ways of managing teams.

This not only puts Scrum into perspective, but it improves your ability to analyze the whole picture.

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Kristin Kizer

Kristin Kizer is an award-winning writer, television and documentary producer, and content specialist who has worked on a wide variety of written, broadcast, and electronic publications. A former writer/producer for The Discovery Channel, she is now a freelance writer and delighted to be sharing her talents and time with the wonderful Zippia audience.

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