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Posted: 2/10/2006 5:35:43 PM EDT

I'm applying for a city department in the area. Submitted the application and my passing PAT and BAT scores and they had an outside company contact me to schedule a polygraph. Thought it was odd that they'd schedule me for one already. Hope that's a good sign as it means the department is spending money on me already, lol.

So, anyway, I took the exam today. It was my first time doing so. I intentionally did NOT read up on it beforehand since I didn't want to make myself too nervous, and I've got nothing to hide anyway. I've had a pretty boring life: never been drunk, never tried drugs, never stole anything, etc..

There was a pretty extensive interview before being hooked up to the machine consisting of about 50 to 75 questions. I was then asked the 7 or 8 polygraph questions as a preview. I was then finally hooked up to the device and we did a test question to supposedly "calibrate" the machine. Then we did the 7 or 8 questions with about 10 seconds between each question. After running through the questions, it was repeated two more times.

As the interrogator was unhooking me from the machine, he asked me what question I had to do the most thinking on and assured me that "everyone always has one they have to think extra hard about". This to me seemed like an odd question. Even so I answered him truthfully and told him that I didn't have to "think extra" about any of them. He pushed on the question a couple of more times but I gave the same answer each time telling him that no one question required any additional thought over any other one.

Anyway, that's my tale. Hopefully I passed and that I was correct in my suspicion of that final question.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 5:51:25 PM EDT
typical poly!!! Hang in there..Good luck!!
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 5:54:31 PM EDT
What kind of questions do they ask? Do they ask: Did you kill someone? Are you a fugitive? What was the strangest question they asked?
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 6:06:12 PM EDT
I think I would be more nevous taking the damn test than anything and I would worry about it giving false info. Like If I had to think extra long about a question and I gave a double answer. Like if they asked me when did I have my first drink and I said 18 than thought about it and realized it was 19. Would that be considered a lie?
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:08:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/10/2006 8:09:16 PM EDT by Tanker06]
It's all smoke... he's fishing for info that you've been able to hide, but maybe you're feeling guilty
about enough to spill your guts, because 'you just know that the machine is telling on you' or some
such. (Not that you have anything to hide, he's hoping that you do, and will spill the beans.)

I've taken more of the stupid things than I care to think about due to clearances, and every single
time, I get the "Well, my supervisor is going to have to look this over, since I'm getting some
conflicting signals on a few answers. is there anything that you were worried about that might have
skewed the patterns?"
"Nope"
"Okay, we'll be back in touch with you to do any retesting..."

Next I hear is an update from the FSO that my recerts were updated for another five years...
Don't worry about it.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:58:33 PM EDT

Heh... I got almost that exact same response at the end. I got "well, thinks look normal, but I have to have some other people look over these results for quality control."

As for the questions they were all pretty standard: Do you intend to lie on any questions? Have you ever stolen money or equipment from an employer? Have you ever tried drugs? Have you ever broken any laws not already discussed? All questions required a straight "yes or no" response.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:23:48 PM EDT
Yeah, typical poly crap. I took a few when I was testing out west for osme depts. The one guy said, "we have a problem with question #????". I said, oh yeah? I think it was something about being charged with a misdemeanor or something. The correct and truthful answer was of course no. All he was tryin got do was to get me to change my answer. Didn't work.

My son tested for a CIA internship this past week, and part of the process was a poly. Well, of course I told my son all about poly's before he went down. He took his poly and the tester said, there is an issue (suprise!!!!!) The guy kept after my son, finally saying...."I'm going to walk out of the room for a few minutes to let you think about your answer". Well, when he walked out of the office my son almost burst into a fit of laughter, remembering what I told him. Guy came back, asked my son about the question, and my son said.........no change.

Long story short, my son has an internship with the CIA
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 10:03:59 PM EDT
sounds like a poly. I was nervous about mine. Never really done anything to bad, but I told the truth and everything was all good. The big thing is they just want the truth man.

Good Luck
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 4:39:22 PM EDT
How does the polygraph work with people who truely believe what they did was ok? Like if they felt they were entitled to something, or were justified in something sot hey don't feel it was against the law?

And with stuff like office equipment? For some people, taking a pencil would be considered equipment, for another person, it might be a printer?

Do they ask follow up quesitons?
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 5:57:37 AM EDT
Im not a LEO but I am about to take my poly. I have heard that they are about 20% what the machine says and 80% interpretation by the tester. Is this true?
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 3:22:46 PM EDT
I had to take a polygraph over 20 years ago to get hired on my LEO agency; I've got a major problem with high tech witchcraft deciding if a person gets a job or not.
I'm not a believer in them, in recent years my LEO agency has hired some real screwballs that obviously passed the test.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 2:37:07 AM EDT
Nothing like having an interrogation when you haven't done anything! They don't even the screwy machine, just ask question like some pricks.

"Are you nervous?"
"No, i'm pissed."
"Why?"
"Because I have to sit here and answers questions for a prick like you trying to get me to lie and play mind games."
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 3:19:25 AM EDT
Generally speaking, polygraph doesn't work. Most of the "science" of polygraphy is fraud and fair nonsense, a holdover from when people beleived in graphology and phrenology. However, it sticks around, because it "works" better than any other interrogation method people have managed to cough up.

The interviewer doesn't particularly care if you're nervous, or if you get special involuntary responses to certain questions, or whatever. All of that is BS. What he's trying to get are the holy grail of "admissions."

Admissions are the good polygrapher's bread and butter. A polygrapher's main purpose is to do whatever it takes, with the machine as a psychological tool, to admit to doing something that would make you an unsuitable applicant for whatever you are interviewing for.

That doesn't mean that staying quiet will help you pass, even though its probably a good idea. Studies show people pass or fail polygraphs nearly at random in terms of their biometric readings alone. Essentially, the polygrapher ends up having to make up a bunch of crap, largely from his own intuition. And seriously, if you didn't really tell him anything, but weren't blatently lieing or whatever, he really has no clue what the deal is, and so he's going to put whatever crap pops into his head.

Nonetheless supposedly it works well enough to scare admissions out of would-be spies in government agencies. Except that all of the recent high-profile spies managed to repeatedly pass the polygraph. Even though they didn't have any training in countermeasures. Oh well.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 11:42:56 AM EDT
I realise the poly is inaccurate at best and mostly is used just to make people nervous enough to be unsure of themselves. I hear Voice Stress Analysers are much more reliable in actually detecting false statements.

Is this true? Or is it just a new way to mindf*ck people who realise the poly is a joke?
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 11:53:42 AM EDT
Thumbtack in the toe of your shoe - when you answer "yes" to a obvious "yes" question, jab your toe with the pin, causing pain and will alter the poly readings, making it appear that you just lied.

Another trick is to change your breathing or increase your heart rate (through a combination of physical and mental skill and practice) and make your "yes" answers look like lies.

Of course, this entire post is one big lie and meant to distract. Or IS it?

Link Posted: 2/13/2006 10:57:10 PM EDT
I' m currently taking a class on investigations for my degree. THe prof is a former FBI agent and is having a poligrapher come in. I'm all about volunteering for that.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 6:41:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cheaptrickfan:
Thumbtack in the toe of your shoe - when you answer "yes" to a obvious "yes" question, jab your toe with the pin, causing pain and will alter the poly readings, making it appear that you just lied.
Another trick is to change your breathing or increase your heart rate (through a combination of physical and mental skill and practice) and make your "yes" answers look like lies.


Get caught doing or attempting to do the above, and you'll be shown the door, with a notation made
in the records of 'attempting to manipulate readings via physiological tampering' or some such.
Cliff Notes - you won't get the clearance to mop the floors....
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 1:44:01 PM EDT
Alternately, you could just be a bonafide sociopath. That always helps.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 4:50:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2006 4:51:37 PM EDT by Crzy_One]
what sort of things will automatically disqualify you?

I've been a pretty good boy...

I get so damn worked up about things im hoping that I don't have a heart attack, even though I have honestly been a pretty good boy...
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 11:15:26 PM EDT
Check out this site:

http://www.antipolygraph.org/

It will tell you everything you need to know about polygraph, and the tactics used by the examiners.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 11:32:26 AM EDT
I just took my poly today and passed. I had read information from the above website and was pleasently suprised that it was nothing like thatI thought that it would be. There were no mind games (that I was aware of ) and it was only about 16 questions. Now I only have my 3rd psych exam, Capt's meeting and a medical exam. Should find out by next friday.

-BJohnson
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 12:25:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BJohnson383:
I just took my poly today and passed. I had read information from the above website and was pleasently suprised that it was nothing like thatI thought that it would be. There were no mind games (that I was aware of ) and it was only about 16 questions. Now I only have my 3rd psych exam, Capt's meeting and a medical exam. Should find out by next friday.

-BJohnson



Wow. Congrats. Did they tell you immediately after taking the exam that you passed? I haven't heard anything at all yet regarding mine. That's the problem with a lot of these departments around here it seems. They tell you what order the process will go in but they never tell you the timetable.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 9:10:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2006 9:11:20 PM EDT by BJohnson383]
Today I had the poly and another psych scheduled..granted that I passed the poly, so they told me right after I finished. This dept. is pushing pretty fast to get accademy classes filled. If I pass my (4th) psych, Capt's meeting and Medical I should be in the academy on the 28th of March. That is alot faster than other depts that I have seen.

Good luck to you Xero!

-BJohnson
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 12:06:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BJohnson383:
Today I had the poly and another psych scheduled..granted that I passed the poly, so they told me right after I finished. This dept. is pushing pretty fast to get accademy classes filled. If I pass my (4th) psych, Capt's meeting and Medical I should be in the academy on the 28th of March. That is alot faster than other depts that I have seen.

Good luck to you Xero!

-BJohnson



Thanks BJohnson! Looks like I passed the polygraph. I got a call from the department this afternoon. They're booking me for the psych exam for next week. I'm not that worried about the psych exam as I've taken them before.

Best psych exam question I've ever seen was in a true/false section: "Sometimes I wake up evil."
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 12:12:04 PM EDT
In regards to the voice stress test, I hear those are actually less reliable than polys. That is, assuming any of the mentioned tests are reliable to begin with.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 12:05:48 PM EDT

Looks like they've got me scheduled for the B-PAD (Behavioral Personnel Assessment Device) on the same day. I read up a little bit on it and it sounds interesting. Anyone else taken a B-PAD or know anything about them?
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