Police polygraph Questions Techniques To Maximize Your Success

Criminal Justice Career Guides Police Department

Police Officer Polygraph Questions Techniques To Maximize Your Success 

What Happens If You Fail A Polygraph Test For A Police Job?

When applying for law enforcement jobs, you have to pass several tests. The polygraph is one of them. Now you must be wondering what a polygraph test is and what it has to do with law enforcement. Well, We’re here to give you brief information about the topic and what type of questions you should expect during the test.

What Is A Police Polygraph Test? 

When applying for law enforcement jobs, all candidates undergo a background check, polygraph tests a part of that selection process. The logic behind the test is to detect if the candidate is hiding something from the agency or not.

Polygraph, in other words, is known as a lie detector test which you must have seen in many movies. It is a machine attached to the applicant’s body which records the involuntary response to the police examiner’s questions.

It measures physiological data from respiratory, cardiovascular, and sweat gland systems. Any changes in the blood pressure, breathing, or perspiration indicates that the person might be feeling uncomfortable or laying.

What Will Disqualify You From Being A Police Officer Common Disqualifiers

Why Police Agencies Use Polygraph Tests?

The main aim of the police polygraph test is to make sure if the information that the candidate has provided during the police background check is authentic or not. Working in law enforcement agencies requires top security clearance; this is the reason why most of the agencies use the polygraph test.

The test is also conducted to check the honesty of the applicant. It is an essential requirement for candidates to be truthful to carry a gun and a badge. 

How Long Does It Take To Become Police Officer Full Career Guide

Sample Questions From Law Enforcement Polygraph 

When taking a polygraph test you will be asked two types of questions, relevant which are more specific and direct and the other type is irrelevant, they are broader questions used to serve as a control mechanism.

Irrelevant questions like, have you met with the president of the United States of America will be asked to control emotions. The body will react unconsciously to say ‘no’.

However, the next question might be more relevant ‘ have you ever deceived a family member who was always good to you?’ this type of question will make you think- hard and fast. The body will respond differently to that of the previous question. 

Here are some sample questions that may be asked during a polygraph test for a law enforcement job:

  • Have you ever committed a crime?
  • Have you ever lied on an official document or report?
  • Have you ever used illegal drugs?
  • Have you ever abused your authority as a law enforcement officer?
  • Have you ever been dishonest with a superior officer?
  • Have you ever accepted a bribe?
  • Have you ever been involved in any activities that could reflect negatively on the law enforcement agency you are applying to?
  • Have you ever been involved in any activities that could be considered a conflict of interest?
  • Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
  • Have you ever been dishonorably discharged from the military?

National Police Officer Selection Test NPOST How To Pass It Successfully

How Police Polygraph Questions Work:

Several topics will be covered in a typical polygraph questionnaire.

  • Shoplifting or theft of money or merchandise from employer
  • Illegal drug trafficking or dealing
  • Illegal drug or medication use, including steroids.
  • Use of alcohol.
  • Falsification or minimization in your requested information.
  • Arrests for anything other than minor traffic violations.
  • Commission of a crime that has not been detected.
  • Concealment of anything in your background that would affect your chances for this position.
  • Involvement in a physical fight with another person, including domestic violence.
  • Use of excessive physical force against another person.
  • Participation in any organized crime
  • Payment or receipt of any bribes

The list provided above contains the areas where the law enforcement officers will focus mainly. The aim is to give you the general idea of what standard police polygraph questions look like. 

However, answering yes to any of the above questions may risk your chances of getting the job. It is recommended to stay calm and answer the questions honestly, as you already have provided the answer to all these questions in a background check.

Read More-National Police Officer Selection Test NPOST How To Pass It Successfully


How To Prepare For The Police Polygraph Test?

The police polygraph test is the most stressful exam for prospective law enforcement officers. It is quite apparent why it causes stress amongst the candidates, especially a few days before the test. That’s why it is crucial to prepare for the exam to increase your chances of getting the job.

Learn To Relax

The first and foremost thing is to relax your mind! Learn how to stay calm. It does not mean that you should lie to the examiner that will do you no good. Panicking about small misconduct and lying about it can decrease your chances of getting into the police.

Body Language

The police examiners not only check the polygraph results but also pay attention to the body language of the candidate. They have a long experience of evaluating the applicants, so its recommended to not act smart with them and be who you are. The questions asked are one-word answers ‘yes’ or ‘no’. There is no need to move your body as it can cause extra alarms.

Read More- Top Ranked Police Academies In USA


Be Confident 

If you are honest, you will have a conviction in your answers. Clear your mind before entering the exam room. Clear minds have no ambiguity. More honest, you mean more chances of acceptance.

Follow Courses

It is essential to follow the tactics and advice of the masters. There are courses available on the internet to master the polygraph test and reduce your chances of failure. 

Read More- Can You Become A Police Officer With A DUI Complete Fact Sheet


What Happens If You Fail A Polygraph Test For Police?

However, it is not 100% guaranteed that you will pass your polygraph test. Many candidates have failed their police polygraph test, but you should not lose your hope as the polygraph test is not the only option that law enforcement agencies use to check the applicants. 

Many agencies use CVSA (computer voice stress analysis) which is an alternating method to check the truthfulness of the person. Although it is less common then polygraph; law enforcement agencies and other high profile agencies use it for pre-employment tests. 

There is always a chance of getting into the law enforcement department, keeping the fact in mind that your honesty and integrity will take you two steps further.

Read More – Sheriff Ranks 

How To Pass A Polygraph Test For Police

It is important to note that polygraph tests, also known as lie detector tests, are not 100% accurate and have been known to produce false results. Therefore, attempting to manipulate or “beat” a polygraph test is not only unethical, but it can also be illegal. The best way to prepare for a polygraph test is to be truthful and forthcoming during the test. Here are some tips for preparing for a polygraph test:

  1. Try to relax and remain calm. Anxiety and stress can affect your physiological responses, which the polygraph machine measures.
  2. Be familiar with the questions that will be asked during the test. The polygraph examiner will typically review the questions with you before the test begins.
  3. Answer the questions honestly. Lying during a polygraph test can lead to a false positive result.
  4. Avoid drugs or medications that can affect your physiological responses.
  5. Provide clear and concise answers to the questions. Avoid rambling or providing unnecessary information.
  6. Follow the instructions of the polygraph examiner.
  7. Be aware of any physical sensations you may experience during the test, such as an increased heart rate or sweating, and try to control them to the best of your ability.
  8. Be aware that polygraph tests are not always accurate and that false positives or negatives can occur.
  9. If you have any concerns or doubts about the polygraph test, discuss them with the examiner before the test begins.
  10. If you are asked a question that you feel is inappropriate or irrelevant, you have the right to refuse to answer it.
  11. If you believe that the polygraph test has produced an inaccurate result, you have the right to request a second test or to seek an independent evaluation of the results.

Again, it is essential to remember that attempting to manipulate or deceive a polygraph test is not only unethical, but it can also be illegal. The best way to prepare for a polygraph test is to be truthful and forthcoming during the test.

4 thoughts on “Police polygraph Questions Techniques To Maximize Your Success

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *