How do I prepare for being a Scrum Master?

At a time in my career, I wanted to work as a Scrum Master, however, the biggest question for me was “ Where do I start to become a scrum master?”.  You may have a similar question and now when I reflect on this question, I feel it is normal to question yourself about how to prepare for a Scrum Master interview, and how to equip yourself with the knowledge to serve a scrum team. Based on my experience in transitioning to a Scrum Master role, here are seven pieces of guidance that you can follow –

Guidance 1 – How do I prepare for being a Scrum Master ?

Start with Why – Sounds familiar, the famous book from Simon Sinek. This is the most critical question to ask yourself, Why do I want to become a Scrum Master? Ask this question to yourself and convince yourself that you are clear on your path to being a Scrum Master.  If you have the conviction of becoming a Scrum Master, you are unstoppable.

Guidance 2 – How do I prepare for being a Scrum Master ?

Path to becoming a Scrum Master – Assuming you have zero knowledge of Scrum, creating a plan and following it will help you reach your goal of becoming a Scrum Master. This will lead to the 1st question that we discussed, Where do I start to become a scrum master?”. A few things that I followed to become a Scrum Master are as follows –

a) What is Agile?

b) What is the Agile Manifesto?

c) What are the various frameworks under agile?

d) What is Scrum?

e) Read the Scrum Guide

f) Read the Scrum Guide – Again and Again and Again and +++++++ (Scrum is easy to understand but difficult to master, reading the Scrum Guide once a month and reflecting on your experience and learnings on Scrum will make you understand Scrum better)

Guidance 3 – How do I prepare for being a Scrum Master ?

Scrum Master Certification – Understand various Scrum Master Certifications available, and go through the course outline before taking up a certification. The major advantage of doing a certification is to get the knowledge in a capsule format in a limited time.

Guidance 4 – How do I prepare for being a Scrum Master ?

Daily life of a Scrum Master – Understand what a Scrum Master does daily, day-to-day tasks, and challenges faced. Connect with Scrum Masters and ask them about the challenges they faced in their organization/teams.  Also, learn about their context, the processes followed, things working well, and things not working well.

Guidance 5 –How do I prepare for being a Scrum Master ?

Prepare for the Scrum Master interview – Here is a list of questions which you can go through for a Scrum Master interview.

Check this –

Guidance 6 – How do I prepare for being a Scrum Master ?

Learn the tools used by Scrum Master – JIRA/Asana/Azure, these are some of the tools used by Scrum Masters with JIRA being the most commonly used. Tool knowledge will increase your confidence during the interview process. ( I asked a few Scrum Masters to give me a walkthrough of JIRA and that helped before I took up a Scrum Master job)

Guidance 7 – How do I prepare for being a Scrum Master ?

Apply Apply Apply – Now you are ready to take up a Scrum Master role, you know a Scrum Master, and you are aware of the challenges faced by a Scrum Master, it is time to apply for a Scrum Master role either in your organization/outside of your organization. Speak to your friends/colleagues/network and inform them that you are looking for a Scrum Master opportunity. My strong recommendation is to apply for internal job postings in your organization as many organizations promote career aspirations and do not necessarily look for prior experience as a Scrum Master. Keep trying and keep applying till you land up with a Scrum Master job.

How to start a career as a Scrum Master

A common question from professionals who want to move to a Scrum Master role, before we delve further let’s understand “Who is a Scrum Master”. Do read the Scrum Guide 2020 for an understanding of the Scrum Master role.

Identify which of the category you find yourself in –

Category 1 – Professional with 6+ years of experience

Category 2 – Professional with 3 – 6 years of experience

Category 3 – Professional with 0 – 3 years of experience

Category 1 – Professional with 6+ years of experience

 There are 2 scenarios –

Scenario 1 – Your organization is not following Scrum, hence there is no Scrum Master opportunity in your organization. Refer to the article – How to get a Scrum Master Role. This will give you a detailed list of activities that will help you to prepare for securing a Scrum Master Role. The day you are confident, start applying for Scrum Master positions as there are organizations that recruit passionate individuals for Scrum Master roles and towards Scrum in general.

Scenario 2 – Your organization is following Scrum. You have an opportunity to apply for Scrum Master within your organization as part of internal job mobility or IJP program. However, before you apply for the Scrum Master role, you have to have adequate knowledge/understanding of Scrum, hence refer to the article – How to get a Scrum Master Role. This will give you a detailed list of activities that will help you to prepare for securing a Scrum Master Role.

Category 2 – Professional with 3 – 6 years of experience

(Recommendation is to gain domain/technical knowledge in your field. Observe the Scrum Master (if you are working in a Scrum setup). If you are not in a Scrum setup, refer to this article –Learn Scrum Master role without being part of a Scrum Team). Some organizations recruit Scrum Masters with less than 6 years of experience; however, it is better to move to a Scrum Master role with good domain knowledge and technical skills. For example, as part of an IT team, if you are a developer/tester/business analyst, continue working as a developer ( say Java) and be proficient in Java coupled with gain knowledge of the industry ( say Retail). With good knowledge of Java and retail industry knowledge with over 6 years of experience and observing your Scrum Master, observing the Scrum events, you are in a better position to take up the Scrum Master role.

Category 3 – Professional with 0 – 3 years of experience

For less than 3 years of experience, it is early to take up a Scrum Master role, kudos to you for having clarity in your career and having a north star to follow)

Scrum Master interview – General Questions

Here are general questions which you may come across as part of the Scrum Master Interview. Usually your interviewer may ask these questions in the beginning of the interview.

Refer this article for a complete set of questions for a Scrum Master interview –

General Questions (GQ) – Scrum Master Interview Questions

GQ1 – Tell me about yourself

(Spend 1-2 minutes talking about yourselves – Focus on your Scrum Master, agile certifications)

GQ2 -What are the 2-3 things you would like before you join an organization?

(Answer in align to the job profile, Mention your affinity towards the organization,)

GQ3 -What are the 2-3 things you would like not to have in the new organization?

(Mention aspects current role challenges, limited learning opportunity, location (if applicable))

GQ4 – Why do you like to join our organization?

(Mention aspects like the advertised role, learning opportunity, brand name (based on the company), compensation)

GQ5 – What are the reasons you are looking for a job change?

(Similar to the above question, you can mention learning opportunity, role of the job based on job description, how your interest matches the new job advertised, location (if applicable))

Tip – Prepare the answers based on your experience, work context.

How to prepare for a scrum master interview?

Preparing for a scrum master interview is no different than preparing for any other interview, having said that the technical questions focus is on Scrum and a bit on agile question and team coaching (if you are an experienced scrum master, be prepared for team coaching skills). Normally an interview can be broadly divided in 4 categories –

  1. General Questions
  2. Technical Questions
  3. Behavioral Questions
  4. Situational Questions

Considering each one of us had a different journey, all your answers should be based on your own experience and the level of knowledge.

Below you will find a list of questions for each of these 4 categories, for some questions you will get the answer and for some we have shared guidance for these questions which will help you prepare for interview. Some questions are pretty straight forward, there are no answers mentioned.

Click on each category to get the questions

What is Scrum?

Scrum is a framework built with a purpose to generate value to the people, teams and organizations following it. It is not prescriptive which gives the liberty to the users to introduce various processes, techniques and methods within the framework.

History of Scrum

In the year 2010, Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland created the scrum guide. A revised version was published in 2017. In the year 2020, another version of scrum guide was published.

What is Scrum Theory?

Foundation of Scrum stands on 2 concepts – (1) Empiricism and (2) Lean Thinking. Empiricism states that knowledge comes from experience and making decisions based on what is observed. Lean thinking reduces waste and focuses on the essentials.

Refer Scrum Guide 2020, Page 3

Scrum Events

There are 5 Scrum events –

  • The Sprint – It is the heartbeat of Scrum. Fixed length event – Can range from a week to a month. The Sprint is a container for all other events. Each event in Scrum is a formal opportunity to inspect and adapt Scrum artifacts. These events are specifically designed to enable the transparency required.
  • Sprint Planning – Backlog prioritization and identifying what is of value
  • Daily Scrum – Time boxed meeting of team members to focus on the goal. 
  • Sprint Review – Demonstration of the work completed by the team to the stakeholders
  • Sprint Retrospective – Reflecting on the sprint – what went well, what can continue and what can be improved.

Scrum combines four formal events for inspection and adaptation within a containing event, the Sprint.

Scrum Artifacts

There are three formal artifacts in scrum –

  • Product back log – List of items required for the overall product
  • Sprint backlog – List of items specific for the sprint
  • Product increment -It contains all the backlog items completed in the current sprint and prior sprints.

Scrum Team

The Scrum Team consists of –

  • Scrum Master – The Scrum Master is accountable for establishing Scrum as defined in the Scrum Guide. They do this by helping everyone understand Scrum theory and practice, both within the Scrum Team and the organization.
  • Product Owner – The Product Owner is accountable for maximizing the value of the product resulting from the work of the Scrum Team. How this is done may vary widely across organizations, Scrum Teams, and individuals.
  • Developers – Developers are the people in the Scrum Team that are committed to creating any aspect of a usable Increment each Sprint.


Overall, Scrum is an extremely popular framework of agile. Do note that Scrum is one of the framework in agile and falls under the agile umbrella. Scrum has 5 events, 3 artifacts and scrum team. Scrum is easy to understand and difficult to master, this is a common phrase and one will realize and understand scrum better as they move on the scrum journey.

Learn about agile scaling frameworks- What are the agile scaling frameworks?