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I had an interview yesterday with a recruiter. I asked them what the history of the position was to gain insight on where the person in the new role would have to pick up the mantle. They said there was an individual who held the position but did a horrible job. I felt uncomfortable when they told me this. Is this a red flag?

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Definitely not the most tactful approach from the recruiter. I would have recommended follow up questions surrounding what made them not a good fit? (Technical Skills, work effort, etc:) If conversation was with hiring manager I would be more concerned, but not a deal breaker coming from a recruiter IMO

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Not an absolute deal breaker, but I have two main points of consideration for you: 1. I believe employee performance stems (at least at some level from Manager) - meaning they are not blameless in lack of success of previous person. Why couldn’t they help get that person to the level of work appropriate? 2. Although not 100% - I attempt to avoid working for people who would speak blatantly negatively about previous direct reports.

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I don’t think so. Recruiter is at least being honest with you.

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A recruiter acting unprofessional? My god, shocking.

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Prod and ask. Try to parse out if it is a mean comment vs a comment with content. Ask what went wrong, what was done to attempt to fix the situation, in hindsight: what could have been done better?

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