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  • Polygraph test - need advice

    New Jersey guy here.

    I've gotten through all the phases of testing in Fairfax County, Virginia for Fairfax Fire and Rescue.

    I did exceptionally well on the written, passed my CPAT with a better than average passing time. Then I was scheduled (thanks to my recruitment officer who accomidated me being so far away) to come down the 28th, 29th, and 30th for Polygraph, Medical Eval., and Pysch. Eval., in that order.

    On the 28th, I went into the polygraphist office and answered all of his questions to the best of my ability and with complete honesty. Keep in mind, I'm 21 years old, have never smoked or done any form of any illegal drug in my entire life, never been arrested, never been in any sort of trouble. An upstanding citizen. I was later told that during the test, one question got me "spooked" on their machine which stated I was lying. The question was "Have you ever stolen anything of significance". I was appauled, to say the least. All of the other questions I answered concluded that I was a very average, run of the mill, honest, no trouble guy. Even the questions asked before the test (Do you intend to lie to me during this test?) and after the test (Have you intentionally lied to me during this test?) passed as me telling the truth. In that regard, how could I have been lying? The machine contradicts itself.

    The officer administering the test asked if I could explain it. I couldn't, because I had never stolen anything. I've always worked hard and payed for my own way and ontop of that, I explained within the past few months, I had a large amount of very old, very valuable tools stolen from me. Gifts from my father and grandfather. He explained that that could be what triggered the machine, me thinking of that occassion. I asked him what happened next. He said he would be filing the report as the test being "Inconclusive". Not a good thing.

    I showed up to my medical with my head hung low after that performance. Luckily, years of eating right and exercising, and never having smoked a cigarette a day in my life have yielded results. I'm in the "athlete" catagory, a very fine heartrate under stress, and have the lungs of a 15 year old. A passing test.

    Then to the pysch eval.. To keep it short (as if this isn't long enough), the evaluation yielded that I am above average to unique in intelligence, leadership qualities, work ethic, and morals, and I've got a new high IQ (for me) of 136. I was very proud to hear the psychologist say I've got all of the qualities Fairfax would be looking for in a canditate.

    But ultimately, I'm being told my inconclusive polygraph will be sent to the chief, at which point he will determine if I get a retest or if I am disqualified (over a stupid machine trying to tell him what type of canditate I am). I was told I would be allowed to form an appeal if such were the case, but I'd rather have it go through fine on the first try. If I retest, the polygrapher said the likelyhood of it reoccuring is pretty good, as in I'll get the same results.

    I do not accept this. There is no way a machine can determine what type of firefighter I will be. All the other aspects of my tests should indicate that I am the canditate Fairfax is looking for. I am dying for this job, this line of work. I live, breathe, eat, sleep, and crave this particular job.


    Please tell me I've got options. Please tell me this isn't the end of the line for me in Fairfax. And if so, please tell me this isn't how it is industry-wide

    Sorry for the longwinded diatribe,

    Pat Whalen

  • #2
    Originally posted by TrentonFF
    New Jersey guy here.

    I've gotten through all the phases of testing in Fairfax County, Virginia for Fairfax Fire and Rescue.

    I did exceptionally well on the written, passed my CPAT with a better than average passing time. Then I was scheduled (thanks to my recruitment officer who accomidated me being so far away) to come down the 28th, 29th, and 30th for Polygraph, Medical Eval., and Pysch. Eval., in that order.

    On the 28th, I went into the polygraphist office and answered all of his questions to the best of my ability and with complete honesty. Keep in mind, I'm 21 years old, have never smoked or done any form of any illegal drug in my entire life, never been arrested, never been in any sort of trouble. An upstanding citizen. I was later told that during the test, one question got me "spooked" on their machine which stated I was lying. The question was "Have you ever stolen anything of significance". I was appauled, to say the least. All of the other questions I answered concluded that I was a very average, run of the mill, honest, no trouble guy. Even the questions asked before the test (Do you intend to lie to me during this test?) and after the test (Have you intentionally lied to me during this test?) passed as me telling the truth. In that regard, how could I have been lying? The machine contradicts itself.

    The officer administering the test asked if I could explain it. I couldn't, because I had never stolen anything. I've always worked hard and payed for my own way and ontop of that, I explained within the past few months, I had a large amount of very old, very valuable tools stolen from me. Gifts from my father and grandfather. He explained that that could be what triggered the machine, me thinking of that occassion. I asked him what happened next. He said he would be filing the report as the test being "Inconclusive". Not a good thing.

    I showed up to my medical with my head hung low after that performance. Luckily, years of eating right and exercising, and never having smoked a cigarette a day in my life have yielded results. I'm in the "athlete" catagory, a very fine heartrate under stress, and have the lungs of a 15 year old. A passing test.

    Then to the pysch eval.. To keep it short (as if this isn't long enough), the evaluation yielded that I am above average to unique in intelligence, leadership qualities, work ethic, and morals, and I've got a new high IQ (for me) of 136. I was very proud to hear the psychologist say I've got all of the qualities Fairfax would be looking for in a canditate.

    But ultimately, I'm being told my inconclusive polygraph will be sent to the chief, at which point he will determine if I get a retest or if I am disqualified (over a stupid machine trying to tell him what type of canditate I am). I was told I would be allowed to form an appeal if such were the case, but I'd rather have it go through fine on the first try. If I retest, the polygrapher said the likelyhood of it reoccuring is pretty good, as in I'll get the same results.

    I do not accept this. There is no way a machine can determine what type of firefighter I will be. All the other aspects of my tests should indicate that I am the canditate Fairfax is looking for. I am dying for this job, this line of work. I live, breathe, eat, sleep, and crave this particular job.


    Please tell me I've got options. Please tell me this isn't the end of the line for me in Fairfax. And if so, please tell me this isn't how it is industry-wide

    Sorry for the longwinded diatribe,

    Pat Whalen
    Poly's are a freaking joke. I love the fact that they don't mean squat in a courtroom but someone is gonna try to tell what kind of person you are and if you would make a good firefighter from what a freaking machine prints out. Your gonna have guys on here trying to sell you their bullsh** that machines dont lie but they do screw up and break. If they don't hire you because of that reason then its probably better you dont work for a dept. that does not look at the whole picture anyway. Keep your head up.

    Comment


    • #3
      I wish i had some advice about this to give you, but I just wanted to tell you im in pretty much the exact same situation as you, except that im out in Colorado. Ive done exceptional on every single other step of the process, but my polygraph as well came back inconclusive. I am also 21, and honestly as you have claimed youself, never done drugs, smoked, gotten in any trouble, stolen anything, yet it still came back as such. They retested me however, but i dont know the results yet....

      anyways, sorry to hear your misfortune, but youre not alone. good luck with everything, and dont get too down--youve made it this far once, you can do it again if need be... good luck!

      Comment


      • #4
        Be Prepared

        chances are there was no problem with your poly except the evaluator was trying to get you to admit to something you didn't do. Often, it's what you say before you are hooked up and taken off the machine that can cause you problems.

        Appeals seldom produce the results you're looking for. Your best day is passing the first time out and not having to fight your way back in.

        Being prepared for every step of the hiring process before you show up will place you in a better position to end up wearing a badge than being caught flat footed wondering what happened when the career you have been intensely pursuing evaporates before you eyes.

        Often candidates are eliminated through the poly with inconclusive results. Not that you failed, but it’s the same as you did. Why is that? You didn’t fail and you didn’t pass? Your results were inconclusive. You still don’t go forward in the hiring process. I think the problem again is candidates need to prepare for the poly the same as with any segment of the hiring process.

        I talked to Randy and others who had the same problem. He took the poly and the evaluator eliminated him with inconclusive results based on his use of pot within the last five years. He swore he had not. Yea, right you say, but that’s his story.

        So, Randy jumps on the Internet and found www.polygraph.com and www.passapolygraph.com He educated himself on what to expect. He took a poly for another agency and passes with flying colors even that inconclusive area about pot and was hired.
        Last edited by CaptBob; 08-30-2006, 11:58 PM.
        _____________________________________________

        "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

        More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:
        http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10544410/bob-smith


        Fire "Captain Bob"

        www.eatstress.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Do all fire departments do polygraph testing???

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by IBQwerty21
            I wish i had some advice about this to give you, but I just wanted to tell you im in pretty much the exact same situation as you, except that im out in Colorado. Ive done exceptional on every single other step of the process, but my polygraph as well came back inconclusive. I am also 21, and honestly as you have claimed youself, never done drugs, smoked, gotten in any trouble, stolen anything, yet it still came back as such. They retested me however, but i dont know the results yet....

            anyways, sorry to hear your misfortune, but youre not alone. good luck with everything, and dont get too down--youve made it this far once, you can do it again if need be... good luck!

            What Dept. was that with? Also, what type of things did they ask you? In your opinion, do you think that you would be knocked out of the process if you've done any drugs in the last five years?

            Comment


            • #7
              Does anyone know the likelyhood of me being asked back to take a retest?? Or does an inconclusive automatically disqualify me as a candidate?

              Thank you all for your input thus far.

              Comment


              • #8
                100% pass

                http://www.polygraph.com/

                Whoops... sorry, I see someone sent you here already.
                Last edited by davehedequist; 10-16-2006, 11:06 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yeah we make firefighters take these tests but not our doctors, ceos, etc...And we wonder why people don't want the paid jobs.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by davehedequist
                    http://www.polygraph.com/

                    Whoops... sorry, I see someone sent you here already.
                    lol that site makes me chuckle

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I failed my polygraph today too for a department near Fairfax. I was completely honest with everything before and during the exam and I "spooked" on a couple of questions. I told him that I was being completely honest and he said he would tell that to the recruitment officer. What are the chances that I will still get hired?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I tested down there a few years ago and failed the poly for the same exact question... I forget if I got to re-do it or not... but it seemed sketchy to me too about how they work that system down there...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          screw poloygraphs , one just cost me a job. I have never tried drugs sold drugs, or transported drugs, so I said no and it said I was telling the truth then he asked if I ever manufactured drugs, I have not so I said no, apparently I failed that question, they would not let me retest, If anybody thinks those things can actually tell if your lying or not, they are an idoit, try antipoloygraph.org

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CaptBob
                            chances are there was no problem with your poly except the evaluator was trying to get you to admit to something you didn't do. Often, it's what you say before you are hooked up and taken off the machine that can cause you problems.

                            Appeals seldom produce the results you're looking for. Your best day is passing the first time out and not having to fight your way back in.

                            Being prepared for every step of the hiring process before you show up will place you in a better position to end up wearing a badge than being caught flat footed wondering what happened when the career you have been intensely pursuing evaporates before you eyes.

                            Often candidates are eliminated through the poly with inconclusive results. Not that you failed, but it’s the same as you did. Why is that? You didn’t fail and you didn’t pass? Your results were inconclusive. You still don’t go forward in the hiring process. I think the problem again is candidates need to prepare for the poly the same as with any segment of the hiring process.

                            I talked to Randy and others who had the same problem. He took the poly and the evaluator eliminated him with inconclusive results based on his use of pot within the last five years. He swore he had not. Yea, right you say, but that’s his story.

                            So, Randy jumps on the Internet and found www.polygraph.com and www.passapolygraph.com He educated himself on what to expect. He took a poly for another agency and passes with flying colors even that inconclusive area about pot and was hired.
                            Captain,

                            Did Randy use both of these sites? Did he purchase one or both of the programs? I'm just curious because I'm giving consideration to making the monetary investment.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Poly

                              Originally posted by angelicknight
                              Captain,

                              Did Randy use both of these sites? Did he purchase one or both of the programs? I'm just curious because I'm giving consideration to making the monetary investment.
                              Yep. www.polygraph.com
                              _____________________________________________

                              "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

                              More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:
                              http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10544410/bob-smith


                              Fire "Captain Bob"

                              www.eatstress.com

                              Comment

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