Interview Question can't get access to applications via Citrix

Q1: Scenario:
Help Desk is getting calls that staff can't get access to applications via Citrix. You are the first staff member in the team that has arrived for work to be told by Help Desk about this issue.
What would be your first course of action?
How would you determine the extent of the problem?
How would you communicate with the affected users? What would you say to them?
What steps would you take to resolve the issue?
Q2: Please give an example of how you have used technology innovatively to solve a user issue or a problem. What were the drivers that allowed you to come up with the solution? How did you ensure that the solution was recorded and communicated to all the relevant stakeholders including team members, users, management and anyone else that might have been involved or needed to be kept informed?
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You should have a troubleshooting path for this:

Check if the network is having a problem.

Check if the servers are up.

Check whether you can duplicate the problem yourself.

If all of the above show that the system should be operating normally, you have to contact someone closer to the problem, but by doing the first three steps you will be in a position to ask better questions and eliminate some possible causes, so this initial conversation can be more productive.
SmukhtarAuthor Commented:
Hi jmcg

Could you please explain these steps in a bit of more details. That would be nice. Thanks
The point of an interview question like this is to test both your specific knowledge and your general problem solving capability. It's a hypothetical.

You could try connecting to the Citrix application yourself as the first step, but as a procedural matter it makes more sense to check the network and server status first to put the results of attempting to connect to the application in context.

How do you check a network connection? Using the ping command might work. Looking at the status display from the web interface of a router might tell you something. Asking around the office as to whether anyone else is experiencing network problems can work, too, since learning whether the problem is specific or general makes a difference in what steps you take next. If you have an extended network, you probably have software and systems in place to monitor overall network health - but you would have to know what to look for.

Citrix servers can be monitored from administrative consoles. You should be able to see how many users are attached and active. If you can't see the server administrative consoles, you have to start tracking down why - is the server down or is it really a network problem that you haven't spotted already? If the server looks okay, what might account for a user not being able to get access? Is there a limit to the number of users? Has there been a permissions change? The possibilities aren't exactly endless, but your problem-solving procedure needs to be able to generate possibilities and ways to rule them in or out as causes of the problem at hand.

There may be reasons why you can't access applications yourself, but usually you should have some way to test application access. If you can access, but users are reporting that they can't, it's more likely that there is a network problem preventing them, but that's not certain. If you can't access the application, you can continue down that line of troubleshooting for a while before contacting the user.

All of these steps can be accomplished in just a few minutes. If the organization has prioritized response time over actually solving problems, they may want you to contact the complaining user first before going through any additional steps. In my view, you'd be wasting the users' time if you haven't made these other checks first.

But not all problems reports come through with enough information for you to be able to do any troubleshooting. That means contacting the user and working with them to obtain sufficient specifics about the problem for the troubleshooting process to begin.


The other interview question is asking about your experience in solving a problem and they will want to see that you've followed procedures that make sense, that you recorded details in such a way that other problem solvers can pick up where you left off, and that you had a sense about how much of a priority a problem was so that additional problem servers are called in appropriately, all the while keeping the managers informed and the users not left in the dark.

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SmukhtarAuthor Commented:
Thanks jmcg for putting a lot of effort to answer my question
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