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Failed a polygraph exam

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  • Failed a polygraph exam

    Although I've been 100% honest, I failed a polygraph exam today. However, my polygrapher was very professional, and he said he will file an appeal so I can take it again. He said it must be approved by the chief. This is my second polygraph exam, and it's the first one to fail. So what can I do to pass the next polygraph exams without cheating? Also, I'm curious if you're hired but failed polygraph exams in your hiring process.

  • #2
    What caused you to fail? Were you just really nervous, or something? Did you get enough sleep before hand? Were you sick?

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    • #3
      I was somewhat nervous, so maybe that's the reason why I failed.

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      • #4
        This is a unique topic that I have not seen discussed on this forum before. I am intrigued to see what type of new information I can learn from this thread.

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        • #5
          just do a search on Polygraph on this site...................
          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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          • #6
            Poly is wide open to interpretation. Itvis not an exact science and a lot of people would like to see it go away completely.
            In God We Trust
            Everyone else we run local and NCIC

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            • #7
              Not an LEO, but I worked as a hiring manager for a security contracting company who conducted polygraph examinations on new hires which required me to do pre-polygraph questioning and post examination result review.

              Polygraph examinations are a subjective pseudo-science which requires skilled examiners. Example, one hire had a reaction to questions concerning alcohol and the polygraph examiner advised me of "deception." Considering he admitted to minor marijuana usage I found it hard to believe that he was completely denying any alcohol usage. As it turned out, there was no deception, his mother and father were drunks and he had a rough childhood because of that. So, the topic of alcoholism brought up sub-conscience thoughts of his childhood which caused the sensitive instruments to have a "reaction."

              Don't be nervous, don't over think questions/responses, and if there is something in your past which is marginally related to the question/answer you may want to bring it up.
              Last edited by Gradient Shift; 06-16-2014, 11:52 PM.
              “You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.” ― Winston Churchill

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              • #8
                As note above, use the search function. The chicken bones didn't align with the tea leaves that day. It happens. If you can test again, great. If you can't, suck it up and move on.

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                • #9
                  Technically, you neither pass or fail a Polygraph exam. The Poly is an "investigative tool", and you'll get a whole of arguments on that score even from within this profession.

                  As has been noted to you, we've done numerous discussions on this very subject. For a virtual goldmine of information I'll now refer you to the Search Function.

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                  • #10
                    If you really "failed," you wouldn't get another chance.

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                    • #11
                      I kept getting a hit on a question "have you ever lied to anyone you loved for personal gain?"

                      Finally, the examiner said "you keep popping on this question, so lets discuss it. What are you not telling me?"

                      I should also note I was 40'ish when going through the test, and have been married forever.

                      I just said "Sir, I would love to be able to tell you every incident that falls into this category so we can move on from it, but to be perfectly honest, there is no way I will ever remember every time I told my wife I wasn't hungry, just to avoid her crappy cooking."

                      He nodded, and we moved on.

                      As was mentioned above in relation the the child of alcoholics - certain questions can trigger certain involuntary thoughts that effect the test. If you feel a reaction about to happen, too late - the system already registered it. If you try to "cheat" your way out of it, you will know you are cheating and be nervous about cheating and therefore, pop a response.

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                      • #12
                        I've known many people that failed the polygraph on stupid stuff. When I took mine, I was very fortunate. The guy that administered it was a retired Homicide Detective. Prior to the test I asked him if he had worked on the case where a friend was murdered. He had. During the test I must've had a blip because he asked me what I was thinking when I answered a certain question. I admitted that my mind had wandered and I was thinking for a second about my friend. He said ok, no problem. He could just as easily failed me.
                        Judge me by the enemies I have made----Unknown

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                        • #13
                          Sorry man! If it helps on the questions to show lie behavior, I really focused on the event that he was asking me about. For example, "Have you ever spoken out of anger in your entire life?" Obviously you have, so you I really pictured me doing that and then I would answer "No".

                          For the actual background questions, I would clear my mind and focus on me not doing those. For example, "Have you possessed marijuana in the past 18 months?" I would picture me not having anywhere on me or around me and answer, "No."

                          He was close to having me come back because my weird breathing was spiking my heart rate all over the place, but at the end he was able to make a report.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lady Blue View Post
                            Poly is wide open to interpretation. Itvis not an exact science and a lot of people would like to see it go away completely.
                            It's not science at all, at least not any sort of credible science. I would argue that at best it is a tool to trick people into confessions. Best advice is to be calm during the test. Don't get yourself all worked up. Just relax, be honest and it will go ok.

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                            • #15
                              Are the questions based off your background questioner?

                              I'm in the Academy right now and nervous about going through it.

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