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Agile SCRUM Interview
Questions

25 Questions and Answers by William Swansen

Updated April 6th, 2020 | William Swansen is an author, job search strategist and career advisor who assists individuals from all over the world.
Question 1 of 25
Can you name some other frameworks associated with the agile?
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How to Answer
As an agile developer, you're aware that agile is a methodology that is executed within a broader framework. The frameworks define the structure of the development process and some of the steps that occur along the way. Different organizations use different frameworks. Hopefully, your pre-interview research has told you which framework this organization uses. Knowing this will enable you to answer the question in a format which addresses their requirements.
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25 Agile SCRUM Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. Can you name some other frameworks associated with the agile?
  2. What is the role of the Scrum Master in an agile project?
  3. Can you discuss the concepts of zero sprint and spike within the agile framework?
  4. We've talked a lot about the advantages of agile. Can you tell me some of the disadvantages?
  5. Can you define the term increment as it is used within agile scrum?
  6. Can you discuss some of the impediments to as agile which may delay a project?
  7. Can you discuss what you know about Scrumban and what advantages it provides to an agile project?
  8. Can you name the four different ceremonies and discuss their importance in Scrum?
  9. What is the benefit of using automated testing for agile development projects?
  10. What is the most significant difference between agile development and the historic way software has been written?
  11. What was the length of a typical sprint in the software development projects on which you have worked?
  12. Can you provide me some examples of the methodology is you've used while working on agile development projects?
  13. In what circumstances would you recommend the use of Waterfall instead of Scrum as the framework for an agile development project?
  14. Can you define what Agile or an Agile Methodology is?
  15. What are some of the skills a professional agile tester needs to have?
  16. What are some of the significant principals of agile testing?
  17. Can you discuss agile testing and how it is used in the Scrum process?
  18. Can you provide more details about the responsibilities of the Scrum Master?
  19. What are the different roles of the team members within the Scrum framework and what are their responsibilities?
  20. What can you tell me about Scrum?
  21. In the context of an agile methodology, what is the daily stand-up, and what information is discussed?
  22. What are a burn-up chart and a burn-down chart, and how are they used in the agile SCRUM process?
  23. What, if any, are the disadvantages of utilizing the agile methodology in the software development lifecycle?
  24. Can you discuss the agile manifesto and its fundamental principles?
  25. What are some of the essential aspects of the agile process?
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Answer Examples
1.
Can you name some other frameworks associated with the agile?
As an agile developer, you're aware that agile is a methodology that is executed within a broader framework. The frameworks define the structure of the development process and some of the steps that occur along the way. Different organizations use different frameworks. Hopefully, your pre-interview research has told you which framework this organization uses. Knowing this will enable you to answer the question in a format which addresses their requirements.

William's Answer #1
"There are several different frameworks associated with the agile methodology. These include Scrum, Kanban, Feature-Driven Development, and Test-Driven Development. The choice of the framework is up to the organization, and is based on their other operational processes."
William's Answer #2
"There are multiple frameworks an organization can choose when implementing the agile methodology. The choice of a framework depends on the organization, its objectives, and operational principles. The two most popular frameworks include Scrum and Kanban. Other frameworks include feature-driven development and test-driven development."
2.
What is the role of the Scrum Master in an agile project?
This can be a follow-up to an earlier question which asked you to define the individual roles within an agile project. Providing additional details demonstrates your knowledge of this role and perhaps qualifies you to be assigned as the scrum master once you obtain the job.

William's Answer #1
"The scrum master is the leader of the project as well as the coach for the entire team. They have several responsibilities, including motivating the team, monitoring their performance, and removing any roadblocks which would impact the project. The scrum master must have in-depth knowledge about scrum, agile, and any other frameworks used to complete the development project. They are also responsible for process improvements and communication with the product owner."
William's Answer #2
"The scrum master is only one of the many roles within an agile project, but may be one of the more important roles. The scrum master is the central figure that keeps the project on schedule, communicates with the product owners, removes any roadblocks the project may encounter and motivates the team members. They are also responsible for continually improving the process."
3.
Can you discuss the concepts of zero sprint and spike within the agile framework?
Another technical question asking you to define some terminology common to agile. As a reminder, the proper way to respond to this type of question is to simply define the term and give an example of its use within the context of agile. The interviewer will ask a follow-up question if they need more detail.

William's Answer #1
"Zero sprint is the preparation stage of an agile project. This is where the planning occurs, and the activities required by the project are defined. Spike are activities that occur between the project sprints. Examples of a spike are research, design, prototyping, and exploration."
William's Answer #2
"Zero sprint and Spike both refer to items within an agile project which are not part of a sprint or the increments with a sprint. Zero sprint as the initial planning phase in which the product is outlined, activities are defined, and resources are gathered. Spike are activities that occur between the sprints and can include research, design, prototyping, and exploration. These two items are just as important of the sprints required to complete the software development."
4.
We've talked a lot about the advantages of agile. Can you tell me some of the disadvantages?
By asking this question, the interviewer is interested to see if you can argue against the agile process. This demonstrates an in-depth knowledge of the process, including items that could adversely impact projects. Again, as an expert in this area, you should have no trouble answering this question.

William's Answer #1
"No process is perfect, including agile. Some of its drawbacks include that it is difficult to project the amount of effort required for an individual task or sprint. This becomes more problematic as the complexity of the project increases. Another drawback is that it is challenging to focus on the design and complete documentation of the project. Finally, only the leader has full knowledge and decision-making authority over the agile project. The other team members are simply tasked with individual items. This makes it difficult for agile teams to develop their skills so that they can become term leaders."
William's Answer #2
"As beneficial as agile is, it does have some drawbacks. These include the possibility of not understanding the client's requirements and developing a product that does not meet their specifications. Another drawback may be the difficulty of incorporating consistent documentation into the project. Also, the amount of effort required for each task, and increment is difficult to predict. All of these can be overcome through the use of ceremonies within the agile project."
5.
Can you define the term increment as it is used within agile scrum?
The interviewer is asking for a technical definition of a term within the agile scrum process. By now, you recognize this and know how to answer it and a concise and straightforward manner.

William's Answer #1
"An increment is a common term with agile scrum and refers to the total of all items which were accomplished during the current sprint. These items can be part of the current sprint or leftovers from the previous sprints. It is important that increments or completed before moving on to the next sprint."
William's Answer #2
"Increments are the total of all milestones accomplished with the most current sprint. Increments are usually items scheduled for the current sprint but can be leftover from previous sprints. Agile developers should strive to accomplish all increments before moving on to subsequent sprints."
6.
Can you discuss some of the impediments to as agile which may delay a project?
As with any project, there always impediments or roadblocks, which will delay or sometimes even require cancellation of the project. You should be aware of these and should be able to discuss them with the interviewer. Again, don't give too much detail, but do expect a follow-up question when you provide your answer.

William's Answer #1
"As with any endeavor, events will likely occur which will delay the project. Anticipating these and having contingency plans in place will help mitigate their impacts. Typical impediments include missing resources, team members that for one reason or another become unavailable, unrelated business issues, and lack of commitment to the project on the part of the company."
William's Answer #2
"Every project, whether it's an agile project or some other framework, will have impediments that impact its progress. These can include missing resources, team members who get pulled away for another project, technical issues that cannot be overcome, and external issues which are beyond the control of the team. These can be managed if they are anticipated, and contingency plans are drawn up. The team can also develop ad-hoc solutions when problems occur if necessary."
7.
Can you discuss what you know about Scrumban and what advantages it provides to an agile project?
While this is another technical question, it is much more complicated than some of the other questions the interviewer has asked. As the interview progresses, the questions will become more difficult. This is a sign that the interviewer is gaining confidence in your abilities and is willing to challenge you a little bit more. You should feel good about this and continue to answer the questions just as you have before.

William's Answer #1
"Scrumban is a combination or mash-up of Scrum and Kanban. Scrum is the framework that makes it easier for project participants to collaborate, and Kanban is a visualization system used to manage the project. Agile projects and incorporate both of these practices. Scrumban takes the structure of scrum, which supports the agile framework, and incorporates the process improvement element that is key to Kanban. This enables agile project teams to optimize their processes continually."
William's Answer #2
"Scrumban is a hybrid between Scrum and Kanban. When applied to agile, it uses the best features of both of these. Scrumban borrows the prescriptive nature of scrum and the framework it applies to the agile process and integrates the visualization and controls of Kanban. This enables agile developers to incorporate continuous improvement into their development project."
8.
Can you name the four different ceremonies and discuss their importance in Scrum?
There's nothing tricky about this question. It's a technical question in which the interviewer is asking you to define four characteristics of Scrum and discuss their importance within the practice. As a seasoned agile developer, you should have no trouble answering this. Keep your answers short and concise. The interviewer will ask a follow-up question if they need more information.

William's Answer #1
"Ceremonies is another name for meetings with and Scrum. The four ceremonies are planning, daily stand-up, sprint review, and sprint retrospective. Planning occurs early in the process, and sprint retrospective occurs at the end of each sprint. The other two keep the team on track and report their progress."
William's Answer #2
"Scrum has a total of four ceremonies. Ceremonies are another name for Scrum meetings. The four ceremonies include sprint planning, daily Scrum, sprint review, and sprint retrospective. Sprint planning discusses what needs to be done, daily Scrum and sprint review discuss what has been done, and sprint retrospective reviews the sprint and determines what could have been done better."
9.
What is the benefit of using automated testing for agile development projects?
By asking this question, the interviewer is determining your knowledge about automated testing but also something else. Sometimes there are questions behind the questions that interviewers ask. In this particular case, not only do they want to know why automated testing is recommended but some of the tools you would use to do this. Make sure you include this in your answer.

William's Answer #1
"Incorporating automated testing into an agile project will decrease the development cycle and enable you to deliver the product faster. Both Scrum and agile encourage the use of automated testing, which includes both performance and regression testing. Tools you can use to do this include Smartsheet, Kintone, Wrike, and Workfront. There are many more, but these are the most common ones."
William's Answer #2
"Automated testing, which includes both performance and regression testing, is a common practice within an agile development project. Automated testing will reduce the development time for a project and enable you to deliver the product quicker. There are several tools that you can use to accomplish the testing. They include Smartsheet, Monday.com, Functionfox, and Trello, among others."
10.
What is the most significant difference between agile development and the historic way software has been written?
This is a rather fundamental question and is related somewhat to an earlier question asking you to define the agile development process. Interviewers can ask any type of question at any time during the interview. Even though you may have already addressed this topic, you should maintain your focus and simply answer the interviewer's questions.

William's Answer #1
"The primary difference between agile development and traditional software development is that traditional software development used a three-stage process. The stages are design, development, and testing. Agile development uses these same three stages, but each stage is performed within each sprint or iteration of the development process. This enables agile developers to identify issues early before they become major."
William's Answer #2
"Agile development differs from traditional software development in terms of how the development stages are organized. Traditional software development uses a process involving three stages. These included design, development, and testing. Agile development uses these same three stages, but they are combined into each sprint or iteration of the development process. This enables software developers to identify and correct errors before they become large and impact other parts of the software."
11.
What was the length of a typical sprint in the software development projects on which you have worked?
This is an interesting question because it is using the term sprint, which has not been discussed up to this point. The interviewer is assuming that you understand this term due to your background an agile development. As a quick review, a sprint is one of the iterations which occurs during the software development. You can define the term sprint when answering the question, and then talk about the legs of a typical sprint. You may also just assume that the interviewer already is familiar with the term and simply answer the question about the length of the sprint.

William's Answer #1
"As you're probably aware, a sprint within the context of agile is one of the iterations of the software development project. The length of a sprint depends on the complexity of the software development project and the expectations of the product owner. Sprints can last as little as a few hours or as long as a week. It is important to keep the length of the sprints appropriate to the nature of the project so that agile principles are adhered to."
William's Answer #2
"A sprint can be as short as a few hours, or as long as a week or more. The length depends on several factors, including the complexity of the software development project, the development schedule, and the expectations of the product owner. I always try to keep the sprints as short as possible in order to adhere to the principles of agile development and minimize the need for patches, bug fixes, or other corrections to the software."
12.
Can you provide me some examples of the methodology is you've used while working on agile development projects?
This technical question is digging deeper into your expertise in the area of agile development. Experienced developers will be familiar with the more advanced methodologies employed within the agile. This question helps to separate the qualified candidates from others who only have a passing knowledge of this subject. Keep in mind technical questions are best answered concisely and directly with little embellishment.

William's Answer #1
"This is a great question. Some of the methodologies I typically use when executing an agile development project include crystal methodologies, lean software development, dynamic development, and feature-driven development. The methodology I choose depends on the nature of the project and the team with which I'm working."
William's Answer #2
"There are several methodologies associated with agile development. Each of these has its own merits. The ones I am familiar with include crystal methodologies, lean software development, dynamic development, and feature-driven development. While I prefer lean software development, I can utilize any of these. My choice depends on the nature of the project and the familiarity of my team has with the individual methodology."
13.
In what circumstances would you recommend the use of Waterfall instead of Scrum as the framework for an agile development project?
An interviewer will ask this question to explore your knowledge of software development frameworks other than the ones already discussed. Even if you don't use anything other the agile and scrum, you should be aware of the different frameworks and development methodologies used so you can compare and contrast them. A broad knowledge of techniques used in your industry demonstrates your professionalism, skills, and overall qualifications for the job.

William's Answer #1
"While scrum is the major framework I prefer when executing agile development projects, waterfall may be appropriate in certain circumstances. These include when the client requirement is simple, the project is small and well-defined, and I'm not anticipating any changes during the development of the software. Examples of these include upgrade projects and small, internal applications."
William's Answer #2
"I rarely use waterfall because scrum accommodates the majority of the projects I have worked on. Additionally, my teams have been very familiar with scrum. However, waterfall is useful when the project is small, the requirements are well defined, the product owner ensures there won't be any changes during the development of the software, and the outcome is predictable. Waterfall requires less overhead and therefore is more suitable for the type of projects I just described."
14.
Can you define what Agile or an Agile Methodology is?
This is an example of an opening or general question. An interviewer will ask this type of question early in the interview to get you talking, to learn more about you, and to discover information they can utilize for additional questions.

William's Answer #1
"Agile is an approach to software development that is done in stages. After each stage, the developers share their work with other program stakeholders to ensure they are proceeding in the correct direction and that the development aligns with the user's requirements. This enables developers to identify errors or items which need correction early before their implications become greater."
William's Answer #2
"The agile methodology for software development is an iterative process in which developers share their progress with program managers in stages. The main tenant of the agile development methodology is to identify errors and issues before they become large or have a greater impact on the project's progress. The key to success in an agile development project is frequent reviews and constructive feedback."
15.
What are some of the skills a professional agile tester needs to have?
At first glance, this question may seem similar to the previous one. However, it is different in that it is asking about the qualities that the tester needs to possess. During an interview that is critically important that you pay attention to the questions the interviewer is asking you. You need to make sure your answers address their questions and provide them the information they are seeking. It is easy to fall into the trap of beginning to prepare your response as soon as the interview starts asking the question. Make sure you wait until they are finished talking and then take a second are two before you begin to respond. This will demonstrate your listening skills and will help to ensure your answer is appropriate for their question.

William's Answer #1
"The agile tester is the person on the team who is responsible for implementing the agile software development methodology. Some of the essential skills they need to have include familiarity with agile, strong communication skills, an understanding of the product owner's requirements, and knowledge of any risks associated with the development process."
William's Answer #2
"An agile tester is one of the critical members of the agile software development team. They have the responsibility of ensuring the agile methodology is employed during the entire development process and that the results match the product owner's expectations. Some of the key skills they need to have are a clear understanding of the agile methodology, strong communication skills, empathy with the requirements of the product owner, and the ability to assess the risks associated with the project."
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