FBI Polygraph Statement of DI Poly

6 June 2019

I am writing this because most of you may know, if you fail an FBI poly, you will never have a chance at being hired again. So my letter came in as "DI Poly." It listed "Poly Results not within acceptable parameters." In essence, they are saying I lied. I can't appeal the decision or ask for another test.

I went in to this knowing I was honest on a previous three-letter agency poly and failed for countermeasures. What countermeasures I don't know. Didn't know they existed until I was accused of using them. The countermeasures one was interesting because I was screamed at and the examiner was very interrogation style.

The FBI polygrapher was polite, professional, and pretty easy going. He shook my hand and did the normal "Here is the machine, here is what it measures, etc."

After going through it, at one point he said I moved my feet (I know I didn't), and then after the exam, he said multiple times, and at different times, that I was failing on the question of committing a serious crime. He went over scenarios that may cause it and said we have to work around why it is saying that. I said none applied to me, and I'm 100% confident I never committed a serious crime. I then said it is unfortunate that those are the results, but it was beyond my control. He replied, "Right on." I was dismissed and later disqualified from ever applying again.

I feel like they are wasting people's time, considering they need about 14k applicants to have a good pull and now can barely get 10k. It is also shattering people's hopes of their dream job and deterring good applicants from applying. Anyone applying to FBI is likely on the straight and narrow (with some exceptions), but they are tossing around 40% of their applicants due to the poly. I also hate how they give conditional offers saying "welcome aboard" when that is not a guarantee. After my countermeasures poly, I was skeptical about ever taking one again considering that if I'm honest and manage to fail, I don't know what to do anymore to pass. I failed two polys when being honest. Don't grades, qualifications, or references mean anything? Sometimes the bigger picture may be to let go and let God. Good luck to all my fellow LE professionals out there and sorry for all those in the same boat as me. Everyone stay safe and God bless!


I am writing this letter years after my first federal poly experience with a different big three-letter agency. It started with a three-hour drive to Detroit. A younger polygrapher started with no handshake and was very awkward. The first round I did well on, but was warned about swallowing because it was dry in there, and to just try and avoid that. 

The next round came and went and he screamed at me to knock it off and he is going to throw me out, etc.

At that point all I could think about was swallowing out of being nervous. So at the end of the 5-6 hour exam, he asked how I did. I said not good since I was swallowing. He then yelled at me saying I had done research on how to beat the test. Asked me what I was doing and thinking. I said I was just trying to avoid swallowing, and he then said I had to have used countermeasures. I said, "I'm not sure what those are, but if what I was doing was countermeasures, then I guess I did use them." I then wrote a letter saying what I did as a supplement follow up. My AC said I failed. Two years later I received my letter saying I used countermeasures. 

FYI, I took two polygraphs for police departments and passed both. So the 50% fail stat for me holds true. 

Good luck to all and sorry, because if you're reading this, you may have experienced the same thing.