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Not Too Confident After Ploygraph

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  • Not Too Confident After Ploygraph

    Hello Everyone

    I've been reading posts here on Officer.com for over a year now as I've been trying to find employment in the LE field.

    Today I went in for my first ever polygraph. This is the first time that I've moved beyond the BI without getting a "there were more qualified candidates" letter.

    I went in, filled out the pre-test questionnaire with the polygrapher, answered everything truthfully etc. We finished, he had me sign the sheets the polygraph printed on, packed up and then sat down to talk to me. He stated that there were no problems with the polygraph and it was very clean except for one question. He asked me first if there was anything I wanted to tell him, and then asked me which question I though it might be. After thinking it over (and assuring him I had been completely honest) I told him the two questions I felt most nervous when answering were the "Have you misrepresented, omitted or been misleading in any of the questions today?" Because that is such a broad question, I think I kind of hesitated. The other question was "Other than what we have discussed, have you every stolen anything from an employer?" I have stolen small stuff like office supplies and food, also whenever we have extra money in our safe, we will use it for gas money if we have to go somewhere for work, both of which I disclosed on my BI and pre-poly questionnaire. The issue of taking the money for gas is one I was concerned about as my Background Investigator said that is why one of the other departments I applied at did not continue the process with me.

    Anyway, after telling the polygrapher about those 2 questions, he said that it was the stealing from work question. He stated he was certain it was something I was intentionally hiding from him. He stated that he has seen all kinds of things and whatever I was hiding was probably insignificant. He said because he liked me as a candidate and because I had done so well on the rest of the test, if I would just tell him what I was hiding he would talk to the Sheriff about scheduling a follow up test to clear up the issue. I asked if we could do a follow up test more in depth on that particular question, but he said only if I admitted what I was hiding. I was seriously considering just making something up so he would give me a second test.

    So I've read many of the posts on this topic on this site and realize that there are many very strong opinions about the polygraph and it's use for employment purposes. My question is this; Does it sound like I really did have a reaction to that question and I'm one of the unlucky ones who will miss out on a job because I failed a polygraph I was honest on? Or do you think there was no reaction or one he wasn't sure of and was trying to see if I would change my answers when confronted?

    I talked to my Background Investigator before I left and he said they would just wait and see what the polygraph report says when they got it next week. So I guess I have really long week ahead of me.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Hayd89 View Post
    . He stated that there were no problems with the polygraph .
    Did you read that...................................oh you typed it.

    THAT was the results of your polygraph------------------------------everything after that was the INVESTIGATOR trying to trip you up and into admitting something
    Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

    Comment


    • #3
      If you had just made something up he would have also known you were lieing , He was looking for a reaction from you

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you, I really hope you're right.

        The department I was testing with isn't the best overall department I've applied with pay wise, shift wise etc. However it is my home county and probably the one that is the best fit for me. Kind of antsy about it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Sounds like he was possibly bluffing. It's a common tactic with polygraphers.

          I wouldn't sweat it until you hear otherwise.

          Comment


          • #6
            A friend of mine does poly's for his county... he has told me about numerous times where candidates come off the box clean as a whistle, but as a follow-up he bluffs this exact thing. And he said it's about 50/50 on guys admitting stuff, which then gets them bounced. A polygraph ain't just the time you're wired! If you stayed steady and told him you were honest and didn't hold back you're probably golden... if your humming and hawing at the end there gave him the inclination you were intentionally deceptive (ommission is deception too!) then I wouldn't feel so good in your shoes. Good luck either way

            Comment


            • #7
              So I realize they might have just been looking for me to admit to something, but could my passing or failing be determined solely by the examiner's opinion of how I responded when confronted?

              On one hand I said repeatedly over and over that there was nothing I left out. On the other hand, I didn't just get up and say "I didn't lie, I'm done" and walk out. I felt it wouldn't be good to show that much indifference to my results or to get angry about it.

              Anyone else have this happen to them that can share how you responded and the outcome?

              Again, thank you for your thoughts.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Hayd89 View Post
                So I realize they might have just been looking for me to admit to something, but could my passing or failing be determined solely by the examiner's opinion of how I responded when confronted?
                Yes it could.

                I am going to expand. NO it would not SOLEY determine your future. but it could contribute to the final decision.

                EVERYTHING you do during the hiring process can determine your future. That includes what you are wearing at each step as well as your demeanor/answers during the process


                Originally posted by Hayd89 View Post
                On one hand I said repeatedly over and over that there was nothing I left out. On the other hand, I didn't just get up and say "I didn't lie, I'm done" and walk out. I felt it wouldn't be good to show that much indifference to my results or to get angry about it.
                Nor would that have been the correct way to handle it
                Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                Comment


                • #9
                  Never had to take a poly, but: Once he said the poly was fine, why did you stay to chat with him? Was he a poly op or a background investigator?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    He told me "it was good except for one question". All as one statement and then immediately went to if I would just admit it he could get me a 2nd test.

                    This was the polygrapher from an outside company, not my BI with the department.
                    Last edited by Hayd89; 07-31-2014, 09:40 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Double post*
                      Last edited by Hayd89; 07-31-2014, 09:55 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hayd89 View Post
                        He told me "it was good except for one question".
                        well you see NOW you are changing your answer

                        The above statement is QUITE DIFFERENT than the below statement
                        Originally posted by Hayd89 View Post

                        He stated that there were no problems with the polygraph


                        It becomes very hard to answer your questions when the question keeps changing




                        I still think he was bluffing....................................but you will find out if you make it farther
                        Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
                          well you see NOW you are changing your answer

                          The above statement is QUITE DIFFERENT than the below statement




                          It becomes very hard to answer your questions when the question keeps changing







                          Which pretty well explains the results of the exam. To the OP. I somehow get the sense that you want us to tell you something that will give you a degree of reassurance. That's probably not going to happen. That said, I'll offer you this, and you run with it as you choose.

                          The Polygraph remains a very controversial instrument, even among law enforcement officers. Negative comments concerning it run the gamit from 'Junk Science" to terms which would get me banned where I to use them on these forums. At best, the polygraph is an investigative tool. In reality, you neither pass or fail an exam. The "results" of the exam are simply reported on by the Examiner to those placed more highly in the hiring chain. The Examiner seldom makes recommendations on a given candidate one way or the other.

                          Regarding the "gas money" taken from the register. If that practice was authorized or permitted by management, and you used the money in accordance with an established policy, then there would be no theft. So, it's quite possible you're over thinking this whole matter.

                          As has been noted to you, you'll be notified officially as to whether or not you continue in the process.


                          I still think he was bluffing....................................but you will find out if you make it farther

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have taken four polygraph exams and one CVSA exam for pre-employment purposes. I haven't lied on any of them and I've passed all of them.

                            Every single examiner has picked a question during the "post-interview" and honed in on it. The five times I've done it, they've started out one of two ways... On this question about <fill in the blank>, you showed a little nervousness... Are you sure there's something that you don't want to tell me?. Or... I don't think you were necessarily lying but I'm a little concerned about this question about...

                            The examiner always goes fishing to see if you're going to admit to being dishonest.

                            I strongly dislike the use of a polygraph for employment purposes. I have no doubt that it has knocked out a bunch of dishonest people. However, I'm afraid it has likely knocked out a lot of honest people too. Some of the questions are highly subjective and unfair. For instance, the question that is commonly asked... "Have you ever committed a serious undetected crime?" I might consider speeding serious. You might not consider anything but murder serious.
                            Sign here. Press hard. You are making five copies.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If you are going to be truthful, be truthful.

                              If he starts to grill you to give something up you have never done, tell him that you've never done it. He isn't a god, and he doesn't see into your soul, although it feels like he does. I am anti-polygraph obviously, but it is a great tool for getting people to come clean. If you are clean, you are clean, and he can't make you dirty no matter how hard he pressures. Be truthful and be assertive in your truthful statements.

                              That said, I am very pro-interview, which is part of the poly. Cops are good at spotting BS. We study humanity every day. He will be able to spot lies better with his eyes and ears than with the machine.

                              For instance, the question that is commonly asked... "Have you ever committed a serious undetected crime?" I might consider speeding serious. You might not consider anything but murder serious.
                              True. Not to mention that it's not going to effect the sociopaths, who are the real worries out there.
                              Last edited by Hanmo; 08-04-2014, 11:49 AM.

                              Comment

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