|How long are your iterations?
– Ideally this is 2 weeks, but if it is close within reason it is a positive sign. Be wary of extremely long answers that slip into months, as these are not agile characteristics.
What is your team size & make up?
– Small, cross functional teams are important. Take note of any answers that lean towards large silos of developers. You may also want to follow up on whether or not the team is distributed or co-located.
Are your Product Owners available for questions?
– A non-existent Product Owner can wreak havoc on an agile team. This could be why the Scrum Master position is vacant!
Do you use Continuous Integration?
– It is difficult to remain true to the tenets of agile with a clunky batch process for code deployment. Try to pin them down on what tools they use here to prevent them from sidestepping the question.
Do you use Test Driven Development / Design?
– Similar to CI above, TDD is another indicator of agility. Again try to find out the tool set they use for this process, as it will vary by technology stack.
How do you document User Stories?
– There is no one perfect answer for this, but they should touch on small excerpts of functionality that are on a task board or in project management software. Lengthy SRS or functional specifications should raise a red flag.
What metrics do you use for tracking?
– Points or hours should be sufficient. I’d pay attention on whether or not their fibonnacci scale goes to extremes. Measuring actuals vs estimates can lead the conversation to some interesting areas. Try to determine whether or not actuals are used against team members.
How often do your teams meet?
– This should be every day if you are playing the role of a true Scrum Master. This can be more challenging with distributed teams in different time zones.
Do you have executive buy-in for agile?
– While I’ve practiced grass roots agile without executive buy-in, I would not jump head first into a position without knowing the big picture. If the employer states that even C-level executives have received CSM/CPO training it is a big plus in my book.
What other responsibilities does the Scrum Master have?
– Depending on the organization this can vary, but it is worth asking especially if they responsibilities do not interest you in the least. It is better to know about them now!