Hot Topic (More than 15 Replies) FBI pre-employment polygraph questions (Read 16319 times)
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Concerned Applicant
Guest


FBI pre-employment polygraph questions
Mar 23rd, 2004 at 8:55am
Mark & QuoteQuote Print Post  
I am currently in the FBI application process and may be asked to take a polygraph soon. I am very concerned by the warning I found in "The Lie Behind the Lie Detector".

Based on my past and my personality, I know I am likely to elicit strong physiological responses to some relevant questions. This concerns me because security clearances are important in my field.

My questions are the following:

1. How reliable are the countermeasures described in chapter 4 of the book?

2. In the event that I fail the polygraph, can my current national security clearances be revoked?

3. Would withdrawing my application after failing the polygraph help keep me from having a file opened that could ruin later security clearance opportunities?

4. Has the complete honesty approach ever worked with the FBI?

5. On what basis are you qualified to answer the above questions?
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
Global Moderator
*****
Offline


Make-believe science yields
make-believe security.

Posts: 5899
Location: Seattle, Washington
Joined: Sep 29th, 2000
Re: FBI pre-employment polygraph questions
Reply #1 - Mar 23rd, 2004 at 9:56am
Mark & QuoteQuote Print Post  
Concerned Applicant,

With regard to your questions:

1. I cannot quantify how reliable the countermeasures described in Chapter 4 of TLBTLD are. The available peer-reviewed research (by Honts and collaborators, cited in the bibliography) shows that about 50% of untruthful subjects who used similar countermeasures (after a maximum of 30 minutes of instruction and training) passed.

In my opinion, however, the reliability of countermeasures is not sufficient to justify risking the serious harm associated with a false positive outcome on an FBI pre-employment polygraph examination. If I were in your shoes, I would withdraw my application for FBI employment before taking the polygraph.

2. Yes, but I think it is unlikely, unless the polygraph charts are accompanied by a derogatory admission that might preclude your holding a security clearance. I think what is more likely is that your polygraph results may become an issue when your security clearance comes up for a periodic review. For further information on polygraphs and security clearances, see "Use of the Polygraph in Security Clearance Investigations," Chapter 8 of Security Clearances and National Security Information: Law and Procedures written by Sheldon I. Cohen for the Defense Personnel Security Research Center.

3. I don't think so. If the FBI HQ polygraph unit deems you to be deceptive, your application will be rejected on that ground. By then, it would seemingly be too late to withdraw one's application. (I am not sure whether withdrawing your application even at this stage -- that is, before the polygraph -- would prevent an FBI HQ file from being opened. I suspect, but do not know for a fact, that it would not.)

4. I cannot recall any instances being reported to AntiPolygraph.org where the "complete honesty" approach produced favorable results during an initial FBI pre-employment polygraph examination. I can think of at least one instance where it was used with favorable results during a "re-test." (The polygraph requirement was not waived, but the applicant was scored "NDI" [No Deception Indicated].)

5. My qualifications to answer your questions derive from having closely followed polygraph matters for several years. For more on my own background, see my public statement, "Too Hot of a Potato: A Citizen Soldier's Encounter With the Polygraph".
  

George W. Maschke
Tel/SMS: 1-202-810-2105 (Please use Signal Private Messenger or WhatsApp to text or call.)
E-mail/iMessage/FaceTime: antipolygraph.org@protonmail.com
Wire: @ap_org
PGP Public Key: 316A947C
PGP Public Key (offline): 2BF4374B
Personal Statement: "Too Hot of a Potato"
Back to top
IP Logged
 
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Anonymous
Guest


Re: FBI pre-employment polygraph questions
Reply #2 - Mar 23rd, 2004 at 6:12pm
Mark & QuoteQuote Print Post  
Concerned Applicant,

Your concerns are quite justified.  I have had experience with the FBI pre-employment polygraph as well.  My answer to your question #3 would be a definite 'no.'  As George stated, a file has already been opened for you with the FBI (i.e., even if you withdraw your application NOW it will still be known that you had at one time applied).  If you fail the polygraph phase you will be disqualified as soon as headquarters has reviewed the results.

A few others here would agree with me that you are in a tough situation.  I was in the same situation at one point.  The information contained in this site, though I feel it is of great value and critical to furthering the changes that need to take place, can put applicants at a very unfair disadvantage in that knowing how the machine works makes it very difficult for it to be effective at all.  Basically, you are now stuck between attempting countermeasures or attempting to be honest and hoping to pass (keep in mind the current pass rate is 50%).  Without countermeasures and with the information you now have about the polygraph, passing is going to be difficult.

My advice to you is to first decide how important a position with the FBI is.  I don't know what position you are applying for but if it is Special Agent, remember there are criminal investigator positions with other agencies that DO NOT require a pre-employment polygraph exam.  You may want to consider dropping the FBI and seeking out those agencies.

If you are set on the FBI, take the exam WITHOUT countermeasures and hope you pass.  The reason I suggest not using countermeasures is simple.  If you attempt them and use them incorrectly, the examiner MAY indicate that you attempted them in his/her results that are submitted to HQ.  This will most likely preclude you from any possibility of a retest.  However, if you indicate deception and the examiner does not necessarily indicate that you attempted countermeasures (although it seems they will always ask if you did),  you MAY get a retest.  If you get a retest, try the complete honesty approach then.

I apologize for the long post and good luck.  BTW, I failed to ask before - will you be answering the relevant questions truthfully or do you need to lie on those to pass?  If you do need to lie, I would suggest dropping your application now.  Good Luck.

  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
Global Moderator
*****
Offline


Make-believe science yields
make-believe security.

Posts: 5899
Location: Seattle, Washington
Joined: Sep 29th, 2000
Re: FBI pre-employment polygraph questions
Reply #3 - Mar 23rd, 2004 at 7:51pm
Mark & QuoteQuote Print Post  
Anonymous,

You write, among other things:

Quote:
If you are set on the FBI, take the exam WITHOUT countermeasures and hope you pass.  The reason I suggest not using countermeasures is simple.  If you attempt them and use them incorrectly, the examiner MAY indicate that you attempted them in his/her results that are submitted to HQ.  This will most likely preclude you from any possibility of a retest....


Actually, a polygrapher's determination that a subject employed countermeasures has no demonstrated connection with actual countermeasure use. The available peer-reviewed research (by Honts and collaborators) shows no such correlation.

In other words, there is no evidence that using countermeasures increases the likelihood that a polygrapher will conclude that countermeasures were employed. Conversely, there is no evidence that non-use of countermeasures decreases the likelihood that a polygrapher will conclude that countermeasures were employed.
  

George W. Maschke
Tel/SMS: 1-202-810-2105 (Please use Signal Private Messenger or WhatsApp to text or call.)
E-mail/iMessage/FaceTime: antipolygraph.org@protonmail.com
Wire: @ap_org
PGP Public Key: 316A947C
PGP Public Key (offline): 2BF4374B
Personal Statement: "Too Hot of a Potato"
Back to top
IP Logged
 
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Marty
Especially Senior User
*****
Offline



Posts: 499
Joined: Sep 27th, 2002
Re: FBI pre-employment polygraph questions
Reply #4 - Mar 23rd, 2004 at 10:36pm
Mark & QuoteQuote Print Post  
Quote:
Actually, a polygrapher's determination that a subject employed countermeasures has no demonstrated connection with actual countermeasure use. The available peer-reviewed research (by Honts and collaborators) shows no such correlation.

George,

I believe Anonymous' post was more nuanced. He specified "incorrectly applied CM's" as being more likely to be detected. There is certainly plenty of anecdotal evidence this is true. Someone that applies CM's to a relevant or neutral irrelevant will  probably be seen as deceptive or using CM's.

It does seem likely that, as the examinee population becomes increasingly aware of how polygraphs actually work, the incidence of CM's will increase. Polygraphers will then be more likely to accuse examinees of CM's, whether used or not.

-Marty
  

Leaf my Philodenrons alone.
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
Global Moderator
*****
Offline


Make-believe science yields
make-believe security.

Posts: 5899
Location: Seattle, Washington
Joined: Sep 29th, 2000
Re: FBI pre-employment polygraph questions
Reply #5 - Mar 23rd, 2004 at 10:48pm
Mark & QuoteQuote Print Post  
Marty, I agree that Anonymous' post was nuanced, but still there is no evidence that using or not using countermeasures has any effect on the liklihood of one's being accused of countermeasure use. In view of the high risk of a false positive outcome associated with CQT polygraphy in general and FBI pre-employment polygraph screening in particular, I think it would be unwise to not use countermeasures in hopes of increasing one's liklihood of being offered a "re-test" in the event one fails. (Feedback received by AntiPolygraph.org suggests that the results of re-tests are usually the same.) That said, I think the wiser course is not to take the FBI pre-employment polygraph at all.
  

George W. Maschke
Tel/SMS: 1-202-810-2105 (Please use Signal Private Messenger or WhatsApp to text or call.)
E-mail/iMessage/FaceTime: antipolygraph.org@protonmail.com
Wire: @ap_org
PGP Public Key: 316A947C
PGP Public Key (offline): 2BF4374B
Personal Statement: "Too Hot of a Potato"
Back to top
IP Logged
 
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Marty
Especially Senior User
*****
Offline



Posts: 499
Joined: Sep 27th, 2002
Re: FBI pre-employment polygraph questions
Reply #6 - Mar 23rd, 2004 at 11:14pm
Mark & QuoteQuote Print Post  
Quote:
Marty, I agree that Anonymous' post was nuanced, but still there is no evidence that using or not using countermeasures has any effect on the liklihood of one's being accused of countermeasure use. In view of the high risk of a false positive outcome associated with CQT polygraphy in general and FBI pre-employment polygraph screening in particular, I think it would be unwise to not use countermeasures in hopes of increasing one's liklihood of being offered a "re-test" in the event one fails. (Feedback received by AntiPolygraph.org suggests that the results of re-tests are usually the same.) That said, I think the wiser course is not to take the FBI pre-employment polygraph at all.


Using deceptive means to defeat a deceptive test is an ethical quandry I would not accept. I agree. I think that for an informed individual, choosing not to take the test at all is both wise and ethical.

-Marty
  

Leaf my Philodenrons alone.
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Anonymous
Guest


Re: FBI pre-employment polygraph questions
Reply #7 - Mar 24th, 2004 at 12:42am
Mark & QuoteQuote Print Post  
"Using deceptive means to defeat a deceptive test is an ethical quandry I would not accept. I agree. I think that for an informed individual, choosing not to take the test at all is both wise and ethical. "

Marty, I think many would agree with this sentiment.  However, the allure of a Special Agent position in the FBI can often outweigh the "ethical quandry" that forces one to choose.  I admit that I am guilty of just that - overlooking the real issue in hopes of reaching the end.

Unlike some, I knew of this site before I took my first polygraph with the FBI.  I was well aware of the risks involved and I chose to not employ countermeasures simply for ethical reasons.  I failed.  I was honest on the relevant questions, hence countermeasures were not necessary in my mind.

George, in regards to incorrectly attempted countermeasures, I did read in a book entitled "Deception Detection: Winning the Polygraph Game" by Charles Clifton that certain physical countermeasures (e.g. altered breathing), when used INCORRECTLY, can in fact alert the examiner to countermeasure attempt.  Honestly, I don't see how this could not be the case.  Unfortunately I don't have the book in front of me to quote but I do remember diagrams showing breathing pattern charts.  I seem to remember one chart showing jagged points between inhales and exhales rather than a smooth transition.  The caption indicated that these points can occur when an examinee incorrectly attempts to alter breathing patterns.  The pattern is unnatural and identifiable as an attempt to use countermeasures.

This is what I was considering when I advised this person that, should he/she take the exam, he/she may want to consider not using countermeasures, at least physical countermeasures.  I will look for the book and post more information. 

Looking back, I'd have withdrawn my FBI application and waited for vacancies within agencies that do not use the polygraph.  Hindsight, right?

  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Hilarious
Guest


Re: FBI pre-employment polygraph questions
Reply #8 - Mar 24th, 2004 at 2:21am
Mark & QuoteQuote Print Post  
Quote:
Concerned Applicant,

With regard to your questions:

1. I cannot quantify how reliable the countermeasures described in Chapter 4 of TLBTLD are. The available peer-reviewed research (by Honts and collaborators, cited in the bibliography) shows that about 50% of untruthful subjects who used similar countermeasures (after a maximum of 30 minutes of instruction and training) passed.

In my opinion, however, the reliability of countermeasures is not sufficient to justify risking the serious harm associated with a false positive outcome on an FBI pre-employment polygraph examination. If I were in your shoes, I would withdraw my application for FBI employment before taking the polygraph.

2. Yes, but I think it is unlikely, unless the polygraph charts are accompanied by a derogatory admission that might preclude your holding a security clearance. I think what is more likely is that your polygraph results may become an issue when your security clearance comes up for a periodic review. For further information on polygraphs and security clearances, see "Use of the Polygraph in Security Clearance Investigations," Chapter 8 of Security Clearances and National Security Information: Law and Procedures written by Sheldon I. Cohen for the Defense Personnel Security Research Center.

3. I don't think so. If the FBI HQ polygraph unit deems you to be deceptive, your application will be rejected on that ground. By then, it would seemingly be too late to withdraw one's application. (I am not sure whether withdrawing your application even at this stage -- that is, before the polygraph -- would prevent an FBI HQ file from being opened. I suspect, but do not know for a fact, that it would not.)

4. I cannot recall any instances being reported to AntiPolygraph.org where the "complete honesty" approach produced favorable results during an initial FBI pre-employment polygraph examination. I can think of at least one instance where it was used with favorable results during a "re-test." (The polygraph requirement was not waived, but the applicant was scored "NDI" [No Deception Indicated].)

5. My qualifications to answer your questions derive from having closely followed polygraph matters for several years. For more on my own background, see my public statement, "Too Hot of a Potato: A Citizen Soldier's Encounter With the Polygraph".


So George, basically what you are saying is that your "qualifications" are that you have failed, (or been found to be lying) on two polygraph tests, that you have never used any of the "countermeasures" you advise other to use, and when confronted with a polygraph test you would simply tell people to run like hell. 
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
Global Moderator
*****
Offline


Make-believe science yields
make-believe security.

Posts: 5899
Location: Seattle, Washington
Joined: Sep 29th, 2000
Re: FBI pre-employment polygraph questions
Reply #9 - Mar 24th, 2004 at 10:31am
Mark & QuoteQuote Print Post  
Anonymous,

You write, in part:

Quote:
George, in regards to incorrectly attempted countermeasures, I did read in a book entitled "Deception Detection: Winning the Polygraph Game" by Charles Clifton that certain physical countermeasures (e.g. altered breathing), when used INCORRECTLY, can in fact alert the examiner to countermeasure attempt.  Honestly, I don't see how this could not be the case.  Unfortunately I don't have the book in front of me to quote but I do remember diagrams showing breathing pattern charts.  I seem to remember one chart showing jagged points between inhales and exhales rather than a smooth transition.  The caption indicated that these points can occur when an examinee incorrectly attempts to alter breathing patterns.  The pattern is unnatural and identifiable as an attempt to use countermeasures.

This is what I was considering when I advised this person that, should he/she take the exam, he/she may want to consider not using countermeasures, at least physical countermeasures.  I will look for the book and post more information.


I think you might be confusing Doug Williams' "How to Sting the Polygraph" manual with Clifton's book (which has no illustrations). Williams maintains that one should breath so as to produce a rounded (non-jagged) pneumograph tracing. The following is quoted from the 2000 edition of "How to Sting the Polygraph":

Quote:
The polygraher [sic] is constantly alert of a person who is controlling his breathing. (See Exhibit D) You will notice the difference between the normal and controlled breathing pattern. The controlled breather shows his attempt to control by consciously thinking of his breathing only to the point that he inhales and exhales, he breathes in and immediately breathes out, showing a jagged edged tracing. You should show a normal breathing pattern on all the questions except the control questions. I don't want you to be obvious about this, I simply want you to breathe the way you normally do - whatever is normal for you. A normal breathing pattern is one you can maintain easily for about ten minutes. You must spend some time practicing this so that it will appear "normal" on the chart.

When you answer the relevant questions, your breathing should appear even and restful. You have a pattern for a normal breathing if you simply breathe as though you are asleep and you are not aware of your breathing. Try to inhale and exhale the same amount of air each time in order to maintain the even baseline. This normal breathing pattern is what the polygrapher would expect to see from a cooperative, truthful person. Remember: (1) your breathing is recorded on the polygraph chart by the pneumo pens, (2) you must avoid a jagged edged breathing pattern, and (3) breathe as though you are breathing in a normal relaxed manner. Practice duplicating the normal breathing pattern until you can control your breathing without being obvious.


However, in Reid and Inbau's textbook, Truth & Deception: The Polygraph ("Lie-Detector") Technique, sample charts of "truthful" subjects are shown with both rounded and jagged pneumo traces:



For related reading, see the discussion thread, How Countermeasures are Detected on the Charts in which a polygraph examiner (who posted as "J.B.") hypothesized that rounded respiratory tracings were a giveaway for countermeasure use.

Based on the available evidence, I think there is little cause for worry about whether one is producing a jagged or rounded pneumo tracing. Key points to bear in mind in establishing one's baseline breathing pattern are not to take deep breaths and not to breathe too slowly (15-30 breaths in-and-out per minute are considered "normal").
  

George W. Maschke
Tel/SMS: 1-202-810-2105 (Please use Signal Private Messenger or WhatsApp to text or call.)
E-mail/iMessage/FaceTime: antipolygraph.org@protonmail.com
Wire: @ap_org
PGP Public Key: 316A947C
PGP Public Key (offline): 2BF4374B
Personal Statement: "Too Hot of a Potato"
Back to top
IP Logged
 
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Hilarious
Guest


Re: FBI pre-employment polygraph questions
Reply #10 - Mar 24th, 2004 at 5:12pm
Mark & QuoteQuote Print Post  
This is beyond hilarity - here we have two guys, Annonymous and George, arguing about the correct way to use "countermeasures".  Yet they both admit they have never used them on any of the polygraph tests they have failed.  Talk about a couple of jerks!
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Anonymous
Guest


Re: FBI pre-employment polygraph questions
Reply #11 - Mar 24th, 2004 at 8:46pm
Mark & QuoteQuote Print Post  
George,

My mistake with the confusion.  However, I do know that the diagrams I mentioned were not from Williams' book as I have not read it yet.  The source I'm most likely thinking of is a CD-ROM based publication (can't recall the name) that I found on www.911hotjobs.com, ironically enough.  It contained diagrams quite similar to those you posted.

In any event, thank your for posting those diagrams.  After reviewing the captions, I do see your point regarding countermeasure detection involving altered breathing patters.  However, I am still skeptic and would feel more comfortable using cognitive countermeasures instead.

Thanks for the discussion.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box beech trees
God Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 593
Joined: Jun 22nd, 2001
Gender: Male
Re: FBI pre-employment polygraph questions
Reply #12 - Mar 24th, 2004 at 8:52pm
Mark & QuoteQuote Print Post  
Oh, well... if your only requisite for authority is successfully passing polygraphs while using countermeasures as outlined in the free book, The Lie Behind The Lie Detector, then I'm your man, as are many others who post here regularly. I used controlled breathing, anal pucker, and vivid imagery. Cheers,

Quote:
This is beyond hilarity - here we have two guys, Annonymous and George, arguing about the correct way to use "countermeasures".  Yet they both admit they have never used them on any of the polygraph tests they have failed.  Talk about a couple of jerks!

  

"It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government." ~ Thomas Paine
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
Global Moderator
*****
Offline


Make-believe science yields
make-believe security.

Posts: 5899
Location: Seattle, Washington
Joined: Sep 29th, 2000
Re: FBI pre-employment polygraph questions
Reply #13 - Mar 24th, 2004 at 9:10pm
Mark & QuoteQuote Print Post  
Anonymous,

An advantage to breathing countermeasures is that the pneumo tracings are the only ones that can be controlled directly (by consciously controlling one's breathing). At a minimum, one would want to avoid taking deep breaths and/or breathing "too slowly."

Like you, if I were somehow compelled to submit to a polygraph interrogation, I think I would opt for mental or cognitive countermeasures, which for me result in an associated breathing reaction without my having to make any special effort.

Additionally, the behavioral countermeasures described in Chapter 4 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector should not be overlooked.
  

George W. Maschke
Tel/SMS: 1-202-810-2105 (Please use Signal Private Messenger or WhatsApp to text or call.)
E-mail/iMessage/FaceTime: antipolygraph.org@protonmail.com
Wire: @ap_org
PGP Public Key: 316A947C
PGP Public Key (offline): 2BF4374B
Personal Statement: "Too Hot of a Potato"
Back to top
IP Logged
 
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Unfffingbelievable
Guest


Re: FBI pre-employment polygraph questions
Reply #14 - Mar 25th, 2004 at 2:02am
Mark & QuoteQuote Print Post  
There you go again George, you never passed a polygraph test, you never used any countermeasures, but yet you still hold yourself up as the final authority on both.  Unfffingbelievable!!!
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
FBI pre-employment polygraph questions

Please type the characters that appear in the image. The characters must be typed in the same order, and they are case-sensitive.
Open Preview Preview

You can resize the textbox by dragging the right or bottom border.
Insert Hyperlink Insert FTP Link Insert Image Insert E-mail Insert Media Insert Table Insert Table Row Insert Table Column Insert Horizontal Rule Insert Teletype Insert Code Insert Quote Edited Superscript Subscript Insert List /me - my name Insert Marquee Insert Timestamp No Parse
Bold Italicized Underline Insert Strikethrough Highlight
                       
Insert Preformatted Text Left Align Centered Right Align
resize_wb
resize_hb







Max 200000 characters. Remaining characters:
Text size: pt
More Smilies
View All Smilies
Collapse additional features Collapse/Expand additional features Smiley Wink Cheesy Grin Angry Sad Shocked Cool Huh Roll Eyes Tongue Embarrassed Lips Sealed Undecided Kiss Cry
Attachments More Attachments Allowed file types: txt doc docx psd pdf bmp jpe jpg jpeg gif png swf zip rar tar gz 7z odt ods mp3 mp4 wav avi mov 3gp html maff pgp gpg
Maximum Attachment size: 500000 KB
Attachment 1:
X