14 Kanban Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 18 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Kanban is a visual system that companies use to manage work processes by helping them analyse problems within processes and create effective workflows. Depending on the role, some employers or hiring managers may ask their candidates questions regarding the Kanban system. Understanding Kanban can help you answer any related questions an interviewer may ask and improve your chances of a successful interview. In this article, we explore common Kanban interview questions and why employers ask these questions and provide sample answers for each question.

Kanban interview questions

Here are 14 Kanban interview questions that an employer may ask you during your interview, along with sample answers:

1. What is Kanban?

Interviewers typically ask this question at the beginning of the interview. Employers may ask this question to get an idea of your understanding of the Kanban system. It can be a good idea to simplify the definition of Kanban by providing basic analogies in your answer.

Example: 'Kanban is a system that carries all information regarding the work processes of a company. This system collects and analyses information on the status of an employee's work and the remaining work they have. In other words, we can see Kanban as a flash drive that classifies and processes our work.'

Related: Stepped Guide on How to Ace an Interview: Tips and Examples

2. Why do we need Kanban?

The purpose of this question is to see whether you understand the advantages of Kanban. You can answer this question by explaining the overall benefits of the system. Directly connecting these benefits with the processes within the company may give your application more leverage.

Example: 'Kanban can benefit the company in various ways. First, Kanban can help the company lower its costs, as it automates different processes, which increases the company's efficiency. Second, the Kanban system can maximise the performance of every employee within the company by providing quick feedback. Third, Kanban removes unnecessary working processes within the company.'

Related: Workplace Flexibility for Employers and Employees

3. What are the basic principles of Kanban?

Your answer to this question reflects your in-depth understanding of Kanban. Pointing out the basic principles of Kanban is essential during interviews. The basic principles include the main tasks and processes Kanban can accomplish.

Example: 'There are several principles that underlie the Kanban system. The first is that Kanban visualises tasks according to their specific context. Another principle of Kanban is that it balances the workflows of teams, which can help employees manage their work and eliminate unnecessary tasks. Kanban also manages work that employees accomplish by, for instance, extracting priority work from backlogs.'

4. What features does a Kanban board provide?

To answer this question, it's a good idea to focus on the features an online Kanban board has. As with the previous questions, providing direct examples of how these features can benefit the company may increase your credibility as a candidate. An employer typically wants to see whether you can effectively adapt the Kanban system to the working processes of the company in the future.

Example: 'An important feature that a Kanban board provides is real-time access to what employees are working on. This is beneficial for supervision purposes. Another feature of Kanban is that it provides a visualisation of the workflow, which enables every employee to optimise their work. Kanban also enables employees to collaborate from different places, increasing their efficiency.'

Related: How to Manage People Effectively in 6 Steps (Plus Tips)

5. What analytical information can Kanban provide?

Kanban holds a significant role in the information analysis of a company. Showing your understanding of the information a Kanban analysis may give a company is essential during the interview processes. Providing examples can also benefit you.

Example: 'Kanban analyses information regarding the workflow of a company and identifies where there are bottlenecks within these processes. Kanban can also analyse the work efficiency of a company and suggest changes to optimise performance. In addition, Kanban can provide information regarding the status of projects and estimate times for the completion of these projects.'

Related: 10 Most Essential Data Analysis Skills

6. What are power-ups?

Power-ups is a technical term that candidates usually master before attending a Kanban interview. Being able to explain the definition of power-ups and how to use power-ups in Kanban is essential. You can also explain what the different types of power-ups are when responding to this question.

Example: 'Power-ups is a tool that allows the customisation of a Kanban board. By utilising power-ups, companies can modify their Kanban boards according to their needs. Different types of power-ups include card ageing, task navigators, calendars and various widgets.'

7. How do you link cards in Kanban?

Employers typically ask this question in the middle of an interview. It may be beneficial to use simple terms when answering this technical question. By using simpler terms, an employer can easily see that you understand the process of linking cards in Kanban.

Example: 'There are two ways to link cards together. The first option is to create cards and connect them with a certain tag. This tag allows employees to search for similar tasks automatically. Another option is to use a unique and specific URL. Pasting the URL from every Kanban card to another card can link the two cards.'

8. How can you use Kanban to manage projects?

Another main benefit of Kanban is in managing projects. Companies can utilise Kanban to manage internal and external projects. Employers may ask you about the role of Kanban in project management during interviews.

Example: 'In project management, Kanban can help a company to construct teams and invite employees to be part of the teams. Employees within the same team can also organise their work and work alongside each other. Moreover, Kanban can help team members track and evaluate each other's performance during projects.'

Related: 15 Project Management Skills a Project Manager Should Have

9. What are the differences between Scrum and Kanban?

Scrum is an alternative system that some companies may utilise. Some employers may require you to explain the differences between these two systems. It's important that you understand the key differences between Scrum and Kanban before your interview.

Example: 'A key difference between Scrum and Kanban is iteration. Iteration is a necessary part of Scrum, while in Kanban it's optional. Another difference is in the design of tasks. In the Scrum system, the design and structure of tasks fit into the iterations the system utilises. This differs from Kanban, where the design and structure of tasks are more flexible.'

10. What type of Kanban do companies use for gaming purposes?

Companies and other parties often utilise Kanban for programming and testing in gaming. Understanding the type of Kanban board that a game developer typically uses can help you answer this question. You may also explain why this specific type of Kanban board is useful for gaming purposes.

Example: 'Most game developers usually use the Heijunka Kanban board. This board allows employees to work independently. By working independently, employees can avoid redundancy in accomplishing a task and finish their work at the same time without having to wait for one another.'

Related: Stepped Guide on How to Get a Job in Game Design (with FAQs)

11. Is it possible to execute releases with Kanban?

Some employers may want to see if you have a deeper understanding of the uses of Kanban. Employers may ask you about the possibility of utilising Kanban for releases. Although companies do not typically use Kanban for releases, it may be beneficial for a company to do so.

Example: 'Although Kanban emphasises the management of workflow instead of how to release work, there are a few ways that Kanban may enhance the release process. A company may release work through Kanban at set times. Eliminating unnecessary features from the Kanban system may help increase the smoothness of releases.'

12. What is throughput and cycle time?

Throughput and cycle time are important terms in Kanban. It's important that you understand and can explain these terms in an interview. You may also provide examples of how companies can use throughputs and cycle time in their daily tasks.

Example: 'Throughput is the total output of a certain process, while cycle time is the amount of time that a process requires to finish. Companies can use throughput and cycle time for evaluation and analysis purposes.'

13. How does Kanban help increase visibility?

Visibility is an important advantage of Kanban. Some companies use Kanban to increase the visibility of working processes. Demonstrating your understanding of how Kanban achieves this can increase your credibility as a candidate.

Example: 'Kanban utilises boards to visually represent a team's process. Every employee, including the supervisors of a team, can track each other's progress, which increases the visibility of working processes. Every member of a team can view the capacity, progress and productivity of the others in the team.'

14. Why is Kanban advantageous in comparison to other systems?

Kanban has several key advantages that are important to understand. Some employers may ask you why Kanban might be suitable for their company.

Example: 'In comparison to other systems, Kanban has several key advantages. Kanban is a system that offers more simplicity through visualisations than other systems. By utilising different concepts, such as KPI, companies can enhance their use of Kanban.'

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