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  • Share your Poly experience

    I took my poly for the USSS SA yesterday and it was exactly like everyone on here said it would be, not a fun experience. I was more relaxed than I expected but still anxious about the process. Wether the poly is 100% accurate is up for debate but it did prove one thing. It is a very intimidating device used for investigations, regardless if you have anything to hide or not. The reputation of the "Lie Detector Test" is an effective tool that LE has. I feel as if I did pretty well but was told otherwise. Is being told I didn't do well part of the process to make me sweat for a little while?

  • #2
    dang they told you , you didn't do well? well i'm not sure if that's a good sign..

    usually i've been told i did good, and then i get a letter stating i failed.
    but i've passed other polys and cvsa..i think it's up to the person adminstering the test... i've been asked the same questions and passed, but i failed one.. hmm..doesn't make sense

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    • #3
      i took my poly last month and it was ok. i was definitely nervous-and he seemed to ask some leading questions about theft and drug abuse-but i simply said what i knew to be true about myself..during the procedure i was defintely nervous...i tried to remain calm-he told me to me think calm thoughts-but with the straps around your chest you feel nervous...at the end he asked me if i thought i passed- i said yes-and he said i did fine and wished me luck...the whole thing took nearly 2 hours...

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      • #4
        I'm getting ready to take my very first polygraph on 5/2.

        Can anyone tell me if they just ask yes/no questions?

        Do they expect you to answer the questions right away (or do you have time to think back on your past to make sure you have everything covered)?

        Also, what all do they hook you up to? I know djsalinger stated that he had to wear a chest strap, I assume this will be kind of like the chest strap I use with my heart rate monitor when running?

        Do you have time during or after to the poly to explain yourself on anything that was questionable?

        My biggest fear is a false positive.

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        • #5
          You'll have time to explain everything about anything, it's part of the test.

          The situation that I had sounded similar to the one that a friend of mine encountered. I was asked which questions I think I failed and was told to explain why. I told my polygrapher that I did well on all. At the end I was told that my readings were "unique" and I needed to explain what was going on in my head. The question that I was told I showed a "fight or flight" reaction to four times was my foreign contact question of the national security questioning. It confused the hell out of me because this is the one area I felt the most comfortable with. I was told that if I could remember anything after the test to give him a call. Was this another part of the test trying to get more info out of me? Maybe. Was he being sincere and really trying to help? Maybe. I'm hoping they were just making me sweat.

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          • #6
            I havnt been scheduled for my poly yet, i havnt nothing to hide and ive never done drugs or anything, the only thing that is i still think ill fail on the question about smoking weed. i dont smoke it, never have but im constantly around people that do, like all the time. im worried this will bring up a lie.

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            • #7
              Poly's suck no matter what if you are doing it to get a job. However they are and will continue to be a part of the process. I understand it is a common practice for some to accuse you of something that isn't actually indicated on the polygraph as a tactic for whatever reason.

              My personal experience is that four out of five places I polygraphed with where just as concerned with me being relaxed as they were with giving me the exam (at least that's the way I felt) and I passed with those four. The one other it was more like I was a criminal that was being investigated rather than an applicant. At that location I took two exams and both of the administrators acted like high pressure used car salesmen after the exam telling me "you just have to tell me something that I can take back to my boss to explain these findings". Not the best experience in the world when you are told that you lied during the process and then you are told to go ahead and reapply with that same department. That indicates to me that they aren't even certain about the results because it would be an auto DQ if they thought you were being dishonest during the hiring process.

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              • #8
                Is polygraph 100% pass only? or is there an error rate? anyone know?

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                • #9
                  You have three calls on a polygraph, Significant Response=untruthful, No Significant Response=truthful, Inconclusive=Unable to tell if truthful or not and should retest to resolve the situation. This does not apply to all departments or organizations, but a vast majority of departments use those terms.

                  Not many will say you lied, only that you had a significant response to questions and if not resolved the process ends. (DQ) Inconclusive or No Opinion generally results in a retest. No Significant response generally results in the process continuing.

                  It may "SUCK" but it is a fact and be prepared to tell the whole truth about all issues without any justification or rationalization. Just the facts and the examiner will ask you for an explanation of why without you offering.

                  Most examiners will not accuse you of anything if your are truthful and will not question you further, why waste my time on BS? Just the facts.
                  Honesty Pays, Dishonesty Costs, ARE YOU IN DEBT

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                  • #10
                    "why waste my time on BS?"

                    Now that is funny.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DetectorAz
                      You have three calls on a polygraph, Significant Response=untruthful, No Significant Response=truthful, Inconclusive=Unable to tell if truthful or not and should retest to resolve the situation. This does not apply to all departments or organizations, but a vast majority of departments use those terms.

                      Not many will say you lied, only that you had a significant response to questions and if not resolved the process ends. (DQ) Inconclusive or No Opinion generally results in a retest. No Significant response generally results in the process continuing.

                      It may "SUCK" but it is a fact and be prepared to tell the whole truth about all issues without any justification or rationalization. Just the facts and the examiner will ask you for an explanation of why without you offering.

                      Most examiners will not accuse you of anything if your are truthful and will not question you further, why waste my time on BS? Just the facts.

                      now i did a pre-polygraph booklet with what they will ask you and yes no answers, do they read you the questions starit from that book or do they go into detail with each question?

                      like example

                      Q: have you ever smoked marjinuana
                      A: no

                      Do they go further with questions like that, like

                      Q: You have never smoked marjiuana?

                      like i stated before i never have smoked weed but i am constantly around people that do is that something i would say to him?

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                      • #12
                        I am not yet a LEO but I took my CVSA (Computer Voice Stress Analysis) and I didnt do so good the first two times. I took it again and most of the questions cleared up, like the "Have you ever smoked marajuna" which I have never done. But I had two that would clear up and they were the "Have you ever tried any illegal subsatnace" and "Have you taken fifty dollars or more in merchandise from an employer" I ahve not done either, Especially the illegal substances one. The administrator of the test showed me what the chart looked like and said that it was higher than they usually like to see, so i had to write a statement. Now I am Waiting for them to call with a decision.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DerekFiveO
                          now i did a pre-polygraph booklet with what they will ask you and yes no answers, do they read you the questions starit from that book or do they go into detail with each question?

                          like example

                          Q: have you ever smoked marjinuana
                          A: no

                          Do they go further with questions like that, like

                          Q: You have never smoked marjiuana?

                          like i stated before i never have smoked weed but i am constantly around people that do is that something i would say to him?

                          MOST examiners go into detail and the purpose is to get any doubt out of your mind prior to asking a question on a polygraph. Yes, tell him or her that you have been present when it was used. If you doubt your own answer, in MOST cases you will show reaction. Questions are reworded to fit the individual. MOST examiners are very careful to extract all relevant information prior to the examination, and help you pass the examination if you are being truthful. Examiners try not to sensitize you to any question on the exam and MOST do a good job of it. Just cooperate and tell the truth. Hope this helps you and good luck

                          I have no experience with CVSA and only use polygraph.
                          Last edited by DetectorAz; 04-22-2007, 07:57 PM.
                          Honesty Pays, Dishonesty Costs, ARE YOU IN DEBT

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                          • #14
                            My Polygrapher clarified the questions by telling me that his definition of "smoking weed" was putting the joint/ pipe/ whatever to your lips. He didn't care if I didn't inhale, that was a use. He also said that he didn't care if I was around weed, if I was in a circle, it got passed to me and I passed it to someone next to me without smoking it, that was not a use. It all depends on your polygrapher.

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