Citrix serves nearly a quarter of a million clients around the globe with its dozens of products. Its software includes open source cloud computing technologies as well as server and desktop virtualization tools. When scouting for engineers who know Citrix, employers want not only a broad understanding of its applications, but considerable hands-on experience as well.
How many Citrix users do you support in your current job?
- What you should say: Your answer depends on your individual role on the team. Leading the Citrix efforts is typically s more impressive than being an individual contributor on a larger team. If the CIO comes to you when something’s wrong, you’ll want to make sure to explain that. You should also name your top two or three responsibilities on your team.
- Why you should say it: To some employers it’s important to know whether “you’re the one throat to choke” at your current job. When a company is hiring, want to know exactly what you bring to the table. When deciding between candidates, it comes down to who’s the best fit, and who’s the most valuable.
What versions of Citrix have you worked with, and which do you prefer?
- What you should say: A company that’s not working with the latest and greatest technology may want to hire someone who has. If you don’t have the most up-do-date experience, it’s important to elaborate on what you do know. You could say something like, “The latest version I’ve worked with is 6, but I’ve been doing research on my own and taking classes so I can get more exposure.” Be sure to give an open-ended answer. If you say you prefer one version over another, be sure you can back up your reasons.
- Why you should say it: A basic yes or no answer won’t get you the job. On seemingly cut and dry questions, look for opportunities to elaborate and tell your story. The more you can talk about how you’re learning newer technology on your own, the better. Bottom line: Never stop learning.
Do you have any certifications, such as CCA or CCEA?
- What you should say: Some employers place a high value on certifications, while others care more about on-the-job experience. Don’t be opinionated and say that certifications are a waste of time. That would put you in an awkward position if you’re interviewing with a company that likes them. If you don’t have any credentials, say you haven’t had the opportunity or time to get it, then discuss the hands-on experience you do have. Since certifications are expensive, you might also say you weren’t in a position to pay for them.
- Why you should say it: An answer that disparages certifications could cost you the job.
What role did you play in bringing Citrix into your current employer?
- What you should say: It depends on your level of experience. If you’re applying for a managerial position, interviewers will want to see both technical and business savvy. For more junior positions, give answers that are specific to technical issues. There’s no harm in putting pen to paper the night before. Some candidates bring a PowerPoint presentation to tell their story, which could be a smart thing to do.
- Why you should say it: It’s important to articulate the “whys” of your decision making. On problem-solving questions, always explain the rational behind your decisions. The more technical experience you have,the better, so highlight your role in shepherding Citrix efforts, with specifics.
Were you in a Citrix-only environment or one with more technical infrastructure?
- What you should say: Show breadth beyond the position you’re specifically interviewing for. Demonstrate versatility, don’t just focus on the one thing you’re best at. Sell the complete package, because broadening your skill set during the interview will enhance your chances.
- Why you should say it: A good interviewer might ask this to get a sense about whether you can work with more than just Citrix, since most operations won’t rely on Citrix alone. Employers want to know whether you’re a one-trick pony or someone who can bring more value to the company. Remember, businesses are always looking for growth.
Is the place you’re coming from a 24/7 support team?
- What you should say: Always tell the truth. However, if you work a nine-to-five schedule, you could add: “We always try to make ourselves available to the customers and we are on call. I never clock out. I have a pager with me. I have no problem coming in on weekends.”
- Why you should say it: You want to show that even though you don’t come from a 24/7 shop, you’re not averse to working at one. Show your eagerness to work a flexible schedule.
Do end users call you directly if they’re having a problem?
- What you should say: This question is an attempt to gauge your ability to work with customers. If you do work directly with them, you’ll be a good cultural fit. When customers call call you directly, it means that you’re not just a good engineer, but that people trust you.
- Why you should say it: The ability to work well with customers enhances your prospects. End users are your customers, and customers are the people your company is trying to make happy.
In compiling these questions and answers, we spoke with Evan Gordon, network infrastructure recruiter and regional manager for Workbridge Associates, and Steven Stewart, technology practice leader for Charles Aris, Inc., in Greensboro, NC.
If you have other suggestions for questions Citrix candidates might hear and how they should be answered, add them in the comments below.