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3 High Quality Citrix Interview Questions for XenApp Administrators

Updated on November 13, 2013

XenApp Interview Questions

These 3 high quality Citrix XenApp interview questions are designed to help determine the level of hands-on experience someone has as a XenApp administrator.

Tactfully crafted, these interview questions will help a recruiter or hiring manager identify talent level based on technical scenarios only known, or dealt with, by someone whom has been exposed to problems or issues faced in a real world Citrix XenApp environment.

In my experience as an IT Manager, I've learned a lot about someone's skills and experience by targeting common Citrix issues like these:

Question #1

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?

Explanation:

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 these issues.

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 have to be reconfigured each time the user logs into their Citrix desktop.

Anyone who answers this XenApp interview question with examples of Active Directory and GPO, or Citrix Profile Manager solutions is in the ball park.

Question #2

Please explain your experience troubleshooting and fixing Citrix user printer issues?

Explanation:

This Citrix interview question deals with another very common Citrix user issue. Printers in Citrix are mapped via the XepApp 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 printing to a shared or locally installed printer using the universal print driver.

Anyone with XenApp experience will explain the universal print driver and configuring the printer using a policy.

Question #3

This Citrix XenApp Interview question will help identify a more experienced admin.

Explain the difference between deploying a Citrix XenApp server using a cloning process with VMware versus using PVS (provisioning server)?

Explanation:

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 not many junior level Citrix admins have ever used PVS and will build servers from scratch which causes drift between each server. Also, a lot of Citrix farms are built on virtual servers now so understanding cloning is a valuable skill. More information on this can be found in Citrix XenApp for Beginners.

Conclusion:

These Citrix XenApp interview questions cover 3 of the more common issues faced in Citrix environments. Someone answering all 3 questions with relevant knowledge will get a second interview. In addition to these questions, other key topics for XA interview questions are:

  • zone collectors
  • timeouts
  • hotfixes
  • NetScalers
  • access gateways
  • licensing
  • security
  • XenDesktop

An experienced Citrix administrator should be able to explain each topic with first hand practical examples.

Read more hubs: Get Virtualized, Start a Career in Virtualization VMware Interview Questions

Joe Sanchez has more than 15 years of hands-on experience managing computer and infrastructure technologies.

Read more interesting topics on Joe's Virtualization for Beginners blog.

© 2013 Joe Sanchez

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