List of questions for SM interviews
After doing lots of scrum master and agile coaching interviews over the last few months, I've put together a list of common questions that we've been asking candidates to elicit their experience and knowledge of the mindset. By no means the best or most complete set but has been useful so far.
Retro: The team has consistently failed to meet its sprint goals – as SM, what do you do?
Planning: The last sprint planning meeting lasted 4hrs (for a 2-wk sprint) and the team only discussed 4 stories. As SM, how you can help the team for next time?
Planning: As a new SM, your invited to the sprint planning but its only scheduled for 30 mins with the Lead Dev and PO – what do you suggest?
The CTO has just walked over and asked you to add a new important new feature into the sprint and to sweeten the deal has offered you 2 additional developers – As SM, what do you?
As SM, what is your main responsibility to the team
Stand-up: What are 2 ways to help run an effective daily stand up?
As SM, you try and discuss the team’s view on their ‘Definition of Ready’ as sprint planning wasn’t very successful last time – but the team pushes back and isn’t interested. What do you do?
The team is insisting that this 20-pt story cannot possibly be split down any smaller – as SM, what do you?
On Day 8 (of 2 wk-sprint) the team has 6 stories in progress (2/6 in ‘test’) and 1 ‘Done’. You ask the team how they think they are doing? What is their response? How do you react / help?
Sprint 3: For the 3rd consecutive sprint the sprint goals have been missed due to BAU/production issues taking precedence – as SM, what do you do / suggest?
The team has identified a recurring bottleneck in their retros that they are unable to solve themselves and are looking to you (SM) for help. As SM, what do you do?
As SM (during the 5th sprint’s retro) the team is again employing their standard Mad / Sad / Glad technique and seem bored/unengaged. As SM, how you help?
You have suggested story points to the team and although they like the idea they seem confused and are now pushing back to their old method. As SM how do you explain their benefits to the team and when is the most appropriate time to do so?
The quality of work completed by a team member in the previous sprint was poor. Delivery was late and a large number of defects were spotted. What do you do?
Your manager asks you to complete an assessment of each team member as part of the annual performance assessment. What would you do?
If you absolutely had to – which sprint ceremony would you drop and why?
Two members of your team have had a disagreement and now aren’t speaking. How would you intervene?
How do you celebrate success with your current team?
What are good indicators that “Agile” is working in your organisation - that your work is successful?
What metrics would you track and why?
Where do you stand on the #NoEstimates debate?
How do you keep up-to-date with Agile topics? What is on your reading list?