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  • Along Came Poly

    I've never actually seen the movie, just know the title...

    So, I've got some corrections experience, along with security/detention experience, and I've never actually taken a polygraph. While applying for a CO position, I was midway through the Florida Highway Patrol, about to take my polygraph, but took the job with the prison. So that's that. I keep up with many of the threads here, probably 5-7 that I really care about, and many of the posts pertain to someone's upcoming polygraph test. No matter the agency, it seems to be the most worried about step in the process, though physical assessments are up there on many peoples' list as well. But, no matter how confident or nervous someone is, I've seen results all over the place regarding the outcome. Nervous people pass, confident people fail, and visa versa.

    I've seen numerous posts stating to just remain calm, and do NOT look up techniques to beat the polygraph. Good advice I'm sure, but there seems to be so much to it, possibly depending on location or agency.

    TL/DR: What has been your experience(s) with the polygraph test (good/bad, pass/fail, what agency, etc.)? Do you have any advice? What should I/we expect?

    I thought this would be a beneficial post for many, even anecdotal for some.
    CBPO 15-5 BPA 16-1
    09/13/15 App (Laredo)
    09/23 Exam
    10/09 Rfrd GS-7
    10/18 Score - 98
    10/26 eQip Email
    10/27 Med/PFT1 Email
    10/29 SI/VBT Sched 11/23
    11/04 Med/PFT1
    11/04 eQip Sent
    11/10 "" Accptd
    11/23 VBT/SI
    11/24 ""(Pass)
    12/03 Rcvd Med/Fit Email (Pass, Follow-Up)
    09/18/15 App (S. TX)
    10/28 Exam (ALT)
    11/15 ReApp (AZ)
    11/18 Score (100)
    11/20 TSL GS-5
    12/16 Sched Med/PFT1
    02/04/16 OHB/Poly

  • #2
    Just relax and tell the truth.
    Its Showtime! -- "The Icon" -- Sting.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by eastwest2300 View Post
      Just relax and tell the truth.
      This is the correct answer. I've taken three. One pass, two inconclusive. Told the 100% truth each time.

      Comment


      • #4
        I just got a pm praising the anti-polygraph website and their supposed free book, and dissing the polygraph test as a whole. For the most part, it seems like a ploy to get me to "join the dark side", but I'm not really interested in researching anything of the sorts.As you, eastwest2300, stated as well as many others, when the time comes I plan to make every attempt to stay calm and obviously tell the truth.

        But, I'm hoping this thread will fill with stories about peoples' experiences. So what's the norm, and what are some of the more extreme cases?
        Last edited by calebggodwin; 10-21-2015, 09:50 AM.
        CBPO 15-5 BPA 16-1
        09/13/15 App (Laredo)
        09/23 Exam
        10/09 Rfrd GS-7
        10/18 Score - 98
        10/26 eQip Email
        10/27 Med/PFT1 Email
        10/29 SI/VBT Sched 11/23
        11/04 Med/PFT1
        11/04 eQip Sent
        11/10 "" Accptd
        11/23 VBT/SI
        11/24 ""(Pass)
        12/03 Rcvd Med/Fit Email (Pass, Follow-Up)
        09/18/15 App (S. TX)
        10/28 Exam (ALT)
        11/15 ReApp (AZ)
        11/18 Score (100)
        11/20 TSL GS-5
        12/16 Sched Med/PFT1
        02/04/16 OHB/Poly

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by JD2Fed View Post
          This is the correct answer. I've taken three. One pass, two inconclusive. Told the 100% truth each time.
          Inconclusive... is that the same as a fail, as in, they believe you lied? Or does it count as a fail and they really just couldn't tell so they said "#$^% it".
          CBPO 15-5 BPA 16-1
          09/13/15 App (Laredo)
          09/23 Exam
          10/09 Rfrd GS-7
          10/18 Score - 98
          10/26 eQip Email
          10/27 Med/PFT1 Email
          10/29 SI/VBT Sched 11/23
          11/04 Med/PFT1
          11/04 eQip Sent
          11/10 "" Accptd
          11/23 VBT/SI
          11/24 ""(Pass)
          12/03 Rcvd Med/Fit Email (Pass, Follow-Up)
          09/18/15 App (S. TX)
          10/28 Exam (ALT)
          11/15 ReApp (AZ)
          11/18 Score (100)
          11/20 TSL GS-5
          12/16 Sched Med/PFT1
          02/04/16 OHB/Poly

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by calebggodwin View Post
            Inconclusive... is that the same as a fail, as in, they believe you lied? Or does it count as a fail and they really just couldn't tell so they said "#$^% it".
            After both inconclusive results I was told I was as close as possible to an outright pass while still being inconclusive. Apparently each poly I showed deception on one relevant question one of the three/four times it was asked. Yes, I was booted from the hiring process. I still haven't received the formal rejection though and once I do will probably appeal unless the reason for denial was due to disclosures. In each poly the examiner was 100% professional. I was never interrogated or anything of the sort.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by calebggodwin View Post
              Inconclusive... is that the same as a fail, as in, they believe you lied? Or does it count as a fail and they really just couldn't tell so they said "#$^% it".
              I've received a couple of inconclusives for a federal agency. I can't really offer any insight as to what it means, as they didn't share that info with me, but from what I know, if you fail, you're done (or you can petition for a retest), and if you get an inconclusive, you automatically get the opportunity to retest (hence my "couple" of inconclusives), and then if you get another inconclusive, you're done.

              As for anti-poly stuff, I wouldn't really research that. Any "tactics" they offer will be (and should be) seen as cheating, even if you argue that you were being honest anyway. If you try doing what they might suggest and you're caught, good luck ever working in the field again. Researching specifics on people failing it when being honest, people passing when lying, etc. will just psych you out and, in my uneducated opinion, increase your chances of less-than-ideal poly results. As someone else noted, just go in there with an open mind, tell the truth and be consistent about doing so (seriously, just get everything off your chest before hand), and hope for the best.

              Honestly, just try not to think about it before hand.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yeah definitely don't research how to beat the poly.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the responses. I'm only in the beginning of any/all of my applications, and nowhere near taking a polygraph I don't think. I actually didn't make this thread because I'm at all concerned/worried. Rather, like I said, I see so many posts pertaining to the polygraph test.

                  I've got a few skeletons in the closet from 8-10 years ago, which I will fully disclose when requested, so I'm not sure how they'll hinder my process as is. But I can still see myself getting nervous during the polygraph process. I'm an overly analytical person, and at this time I feel like I will second guess myself even when telling the truth, "Was there one time I did do that thing?" or "Was it only once?"

                  I do find the polygraph test interesting, what little I know about it, and I'm somewhat excited to take my first one, as nervous as I'm sure I'll be. I can see myself passing easily, but also failing miserably, haha. Not because I'll lie, but from the stories I've read about.
                  Last edited by calebggodwin; 10-21-2015, 09:51 AM.
                  CBPO 15-5 BPA 16-1
                  09/13/15 App (Laredo)
                  09/23 Exam
                  10/09 Rfrd GS-7
                  10/18 Score - 98
                  10/26 eQip Email
                  10/27 Med/PFT1 Email
                  10/29 SI/VBT Sched 11/23
                  11/04 Med/PFT1
                  11/04 eQip Sent
                  11/10 "" Accptd
                  11/23 VBT/SI
                  11/24 ""(Pass)
                  12/03 Rcvd Med/Fit Email (Pass, Follow-Up)
                  09/18/15 App (S. TX)
                  10/28 Exam (ALT)
                  11/15 ReApp (AZ)
                  11/18 Score (100)
                  11/20 TSL GS-5
                  12/16 Sched Med/PFT1
                  02/04/16 OHB/Poly

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you are the overanalytical person (like me), don't even think about it too much before you go in there. Just go with the advice that they give you before the poly, ei, get a full night of sleep, don't change your routine, drink coffee if you are a coffee drinker etc, and just go along for the ride.

                    If you research other peoples' experiences, it might prep you the wrong way during the exam and you might alter the way you would normally answer a question to get what you consider the correct answer. That will only mess you up more. They will also ask you if you have researches anti poly websites.

                    Source: Me. I have taken 3. Passed the first, the other two are still pending as we speak.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You'll pass some and fail others. Just know some will and can talk themselves out a job.

                      Comment

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