Not sure how to best write the question, I hope my explanation clears things up.
A while back, our startup (early stage) hired someone to help out with my responsibilities and during the negotiating process he requested a more prestigious title. So from outside the organization, it would appear the person was managing me, but in reality responsibilities were the same between us both. After a few months, he didn't quite live up to the task and was fired.
Fast forward several months, the startup is going through bad financial times and large amount of the staff were laid off (including me). It seems he is still looking for a new role and now I am looking too, there is a high chance we will be interviewing for the same roles at other companies, at least locally.
What is the best way to handle if a recruiter or potential manager asks what it was like working with him, should I be honest and say, he was let go for bad performance?
( 3 months ago )
I cannot believe that anyone would be so unprofessional as to ask this.
If anyone did ask me, my first reply would be "I'd rather not say".
If pushed, "I understand why you ask, but hope that you will understand why I feel that it would be unprofessional of me to answer".
By now, even the thickest skinned should realize that they are not going to get an answer.