I will be on 2 interview panels later this week, interviewing candidates for open positions. I work in information security as an IT auditor and am also the team lead for my team. One open position is on my team, and the one on the Information Security team.
Today, the coworker who is part of the interview panel for both positions asked me what I thought about the candidates based on what was given to us by HR and written in their resume. I declined to answer because I did not want to bias other interviewers opinions before they even met the candidates. Due to me having a 1 year of experience in the company, and also the team lead of my team, my colleague may be unduly influenced by what I say. In short, I want to avoid groupthink. I think it's important that each panelist feel free to speak his / her mind about job candidates without undue influence of other interviewers on the panel. (for or against).
I did not want appear unhelpful or rude but I also wanted the interview process to be fair and all interviewers to have their thoughts heard. If asked for feedback after everyone has interviewed the candidate I would not hesitate to give my honest opinion of the candidates.
Did I do the correct thing by declining?
Is the request of my colleague for feedback prior to meeting the candidate improper / unprofessional?