Scrum Master Interview – What a Relief

Stephanie on scrum master interview dayI just had a terrific scrum master interview with a local company, and it was a huge relief! Not because the job is terrific (although I’m sure it will be if I get it), but because the hiring process has me meeting with the product owners and current scrum master in my first interview. I’m not meeting with executives or even the functional manager– at this stage, the company doesn’t even know who the my functional manager might be, because they haven’t decided which team would be the best fit!

I’ve had quite a few Scrum Master interviews in the past 2 months, and I can tell you– most people hiring scrum masters don’t know what they do. That’s usually fine– as a technical writer, I have coached hiring managers on how to interview me and other writers, even during the interview process. But when I come into an interview and I’m talking to product owners and scrum masters who want me to tell them how my last team worked, and demonstrate how I approached that role? That’s a huge relief.

A little bit of knowledge went a long way today. When we talk about “culture fit,” we usually often talk about work/life balance, office wardrobe, and whether there’s a ping pong table in the cafeteria. But for me, culture fit is about how much I have to push to get people to understand what I’m talking about. I don’t mind coaching, and a scrum master is always going to have a lot of opportunities to help the team learn and improve.

But I really love it when the company is already on that path, and I no longer have to explain what I do, just how I do it so well during the interview.

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Stephanie Bryant is a Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) with a technical documentation background from Las Vegas, Nevada. She helped a 100% remote defense contractor team transition to Scrum in 2016, bringing them to be more functional and productive thanks to improved communication and teamwork. Before falling in love with Scrum, Stephanie was a technical writer for 20 years and has written several books, including Videoblogging for Dummies. As an entrepreneur, she wrote and published a 4-issue comic book for knitters and has written or contributed to several tabletop games. Stephanie is an accomplished public speaker and trainer, having presented at professional conferences and user groups for the Society for Technical Communication, WebWorks, and the Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat. She has both online and in-classroom experience as a teacher and trainer, having taught technical writing courses online and Freshman composition in the classroom at San Jose State University. She's also led teams, both professionally (as a Scrum Master and entrepreneur) and on a volunteer basis in her tenure as an officer of a local Toastmasters group, the Society for Technical Communication, and the National Writers Union, where she served as the national chair for the book authors' division. Stephanie is now turning her unique set of leadership, training, and Agile skills to a career in helping other teams learn to love Scrum and improve their teams and processes.