These 3 Tough Citrix XenApp Interview Questions are designed to help determine the level of hands-on experience someone has as a XenApp administrator.
In all my years of interviewing, I’ve hired nearly a hundred systems administrators in jobs to manage and support VMware Hybrid Cloud, Linux, Windows, Databases, Backups, Storage, Networking, and Citrix. And to be honest, a few of my hires have not turned out very well. Although over the years I’ve improved my odds tremendously and have learned to cut my losses by asking better interview questions. Many of which are shared on VMinstall for you to use.
You can learn a lot about someone’s skills and experience by asking specific questions that target unique problems and listening to the response carefully.
In this case, these questions are specific for Citrix XenApp Admins.
Tactfully crafted, these interview questions will help a hiring manager determine someone’s talent levels based on technical scenarios. The problems these scenarios cover are dealt with mostly by admins who have been administering a Citrix XenApp production environment with a lot of users and published apps.
The secret of my strategy is to remember you’re not administering a Cert exam, it’s an interview and the goal is to determine someone’s skill level to do a specific job.
3 Technical Citrix XenApp Interview Questions for Administrators
Question #1 deals with XenApp profile issues.
Please explain your experience handling Citrix user profile issues?
These issues can relate to duplicate user profiles, corrupted user profiles, or Temp user profiles. Explain how you would troubleshoot each of these issues and what you would do to resolve them?
Citrix user profile issues are common but vary on how they are resolved. In my experience as a Citrix XenApp administrator, and as an IT Manager, I’ve seen many times where user profile issues have gone unresolved because a server or inexperienced Citrix admin could not figure them out.
This Citrix interview question will identify an experienced XenApp administrator with the ability to solve the infamous Citrix profile issue(s). It takes more than someone who knows how to delete a corrupted user profile. Moreover, you need a person that fixes the problem. Citrix user profile problems plague many Citrix environments and drive the Citrix user nuts because all their favorites and personal settings are constantly getting lost or deleted, and they have to be reconfigured each time the user logs into Citrix.
Anyone who answers this XenApp interview question with examples of Active Directory and GPO, or Citrix Profile Manager solutions is in the ballpark.
Question #2 deals with Citrix XenApp printing issues.
Please explain your experience troubleshooting and fixing Citrix user printer issues?
A lot of printer issues are related to shared or network printers that are used by a lot of users for printing invoices or checks. Many times the users have different configurations assigned to them. Or the XenApp server they logged into is not configurated the same due to drift in the image.
This Citrix interview question deals with another very common Citrix user issue. Printers in Citrix are mapped via the XenApp server to the user’s own desktop using a universal print driver. Sometimes it works but often it takes tweaking things just right to get the user’s Citrix desktop printer spool to use a shared or locally installed printer using via the correct print driver.
Anyone with XenApp experience will be familiar with troubleshooting the universal print driver as well as configuring printers using a policy.
Question #3 is to determine how advanced someone’s skills are by using Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS).
Explain how you would deploy a Citrix XenApp Servers using PVS (provisioning service)?
This Citrix XenApp Interview question will help identify a more experienced admin who has used PVS to do deployments of XenApp servers. The answers here can segue into the deep end of Citrix.
One of the challenges in hosting a Citrix XenApp farm is keeping each XenApp server in sync with the others. The larger the farm grows the harder it becomes to manage the configuration of all the XenApp servers.
Many times XenApp servers will get out of sync and then applications will only work on certain servers. Unless you have a tool that handles keeping servers in sync, cloning servers from a golden template or using a PVS is the best method.
An experienced Citrix admin will understand both deployment methods and most likely prefer one over the other. PVS is the likely better solution but many junior level Citrix admins have ever set up PVS. They will build servers from scratch which can cause a drift between each server. Also, a lot of Citrix farms are built on XenServer VM servers so understanding this tech is another valuable skill.
Anyone that can give details about how they have set up and used PVS, as well as how they have resolved issues with images, configs, storage, or licenses is credible.
🤦🏻♂️ Want to learn more about Citrix XenApp, XenServer, or XenDesktop? Here’s a link to all the great New Citrix Training Courses on Udemy.
These Citrix XenApp interview questions cover 3 of the more common issues faced in Citrix environments. Someone answering all 3 questions with relevant knowledge should get serious consideration or at least a second interview.
In addition to these questions, other key topics for XA interview questions are:
- zone collectors
- access gateways
An experienced Citrix administrator is passionate about Citrix Technology and should be able to explain each topic with first-hand practical examples (Here’s a link with details for you to review).