Most candidates are familiar with the essential prerequisites for a firefighter position, including positive employment history, no crimes, a clear driving record, and even a polygraph. Say what?
Yes, you got me! Listen, fire service departments don’t always rely upon background checks. They also solely rely on a firefighters polygraph test. You mustn’t only know what’s coming before entering the test and learn how to give answers appropriately.
So, what exactly is a polygraph, how does it work, and what types of questions are typically asked throughout a polygraph test? I’ll cover everything and more inside this post, so continue reading!
We’ll discuss the following:
- What Is A Polygraph Exam?
- What Is The Goal Of a Polygraph?
- How Does A Polygraph Test Work?
- What Is Another Form Of The Polygraph?
- What Kind Of Questions Will Ask You During A Polygraph Test?
- What Happens If You Got Failed In The Polygraph Test?
- What Types Of Organizations Demand A polygraph?
Read also: Do Firefighters Get Paid Weekly Or Monthly?
What Is A Polygraph Exam?
A polygraph test, often referred to as a “lie detector test” , measures your skin conductance, pulse, breathing, your blood pressure while you’re answering the questions. Those characteristics are concerned with determining whether or not you are telling the truth.
Polygraph scoring methods differ. Many polygraph testing administrators use a machine to determine honesty, while others use their grading system. All these things will depend entirely on the fire service department your check.
What Is The Goal Of a Polygraph?
The primary goal of each polygraph exam in security screening will be to identify persons that pose severe dangers to national security. To put that another way, the purpose of this diagnostic testing is to minimize the amount of false and negative cases.
Do Firefighters Have to Take A Polygraph?
As I’ve mentioned earlier, firefighters have to sit for a polygraph test, and it’s kinda one of the mandatory things you’ve to face in your firefighter’s journey.
Approximately, it can take around 4 hours to complete the test, and you’ll have short breaks during the exam periods. Now, let’s check out how the polygraph test works.
How Does A Polygraph Test Work?
Typically, questions are asked before as well during the test. When someone delivers dishonest replies, the assumption would be that some physiological changes will occur when you try to lie.
For instance, if the participant’s pulse rate becomes faster, his blood pressure gets higher, or his sweat is enhanced, this is allegedly a symptom of deceit on his behalf.
What Is Another Form Of The Polygraph?
A voice stress analysis test, or CVSA, is also another type of polygraph. The examination is more superficial than others because it merely assesses the degree of stress throughout your voice. This is said to be a feasible alternative to the classic polygraph exam.
When the polygraph test continues, every one of the participant’s signals is recorded either paper or even electronically. Following the polygraph test, the examiner analyzes the graph charts to see whether there’s any substantial change in the examinee’s different physiological parameters and whether any indications of vocal stress were recorded.
This evidence or proof, in a sense, demonstrates whether or not you performed truthfully during your polygraph exam.
What Kind Of Questions Will Ask You During A Polygraph Test?
Are you curious about the types of questions that will be asked when you enter the polygraph examination room? Don’t worry! However, each fire department will have its own set of questions. So, keep in mind that there’re no promises.
Here’re some examples of possible queries.
- Did you use a prescription medication that you weren’t supposed to?
- Have you ever tried barbiturates, steroids, ecstasy, hallucinogens, crystal meth, marijuana, LSD, PCP, heroin, or cocaine?
- Did you ever be a part of any drug deal?
- Have you spent the last six months or even a year surrounding somebody who is consuming drugs illegally?
- How many of you have purchased or sold anything that could be stolen?
- Have you known somebody who committed a heinous crime?
- Do you currently get auto insurance?
- Have any of your insurance claims been revealed to be fraudulent?
- Were you honest in all of your answers throughout your interview session?
- Have you received a bill from a collection agency in the recent year or, in the previous two years?
- Have you failed to file your taxes? How long have you been doing this?
- Have you declared bankruptcy over the last year? In the previous two years?
- Do you have any bills that are past due? How many are there?
- Is your credit score good?
- Have you been dismissed from such a job before?
- Have you ever faced allegations of sexual harassment at work?
- Have you ever cheated on the job?
- Have you been imprisoned for such a crime as unlawful sex, rape, child abuse, abduction, robbery, forgery, burglary, violent assault?
What Happens If You Got Failed In The Polygraph Test?
So, let’s assume the very worst happened, and you flop the polygraph. Considering what you currently know, you’re using this poor grade to deduce one among two things.
For one thing, whether you lied intentionally or not, the polygraph test caught it.
The second, but the more likely, assumption is that somebody at the fire service department has decided to recruit you and no longer wants to be there.
It’s difficult to tell which one is which. However, this job isn’t working out. We urge that you resume your job hunt.
What Types Of Organizations Demand A polygraph?
The Office of the Inspector General is one of the federal government offices that require applicants to pass a polygraph test that’s part of the clearance procedure.
- The Defense Intelligence Agency
- Central Intelligence Agency
- Director of National Intelligence
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Drug Enforcement Agency
- National Geospatial Agency
- National Security Agency
- National Intelligence Community
All these are made up of many institutions, including the National Reconnaissance Office.
Related Questions (FAQs)
1#. Is it possible to fail a polygraph if you’re telling the truth?
Yes, even if you’re telling the whole truth, you can fail a polygraph. Because such a polygraph examiner evaluates the results, this is the case. If they believe the results are inconsistent, you may again fail the polygraph test.
2#. Can you still be fired if you refuse to take a polygraph test?
They aren’t allowed to discriminate against each job candidate or employee who refuses to take a polygraph test. They’re prohibited from taking any disciplinary action against a person or employee based on the findings of the polygraph tests.
3#. Does every fire department use polygraph tests?
No, not every fire department requires that you undergo a polygraph test before being employed. So, to get employment, this approach depends mainly on each department’s regulations and policies.
4#. In a polygraph, what’s a General Question Test (GQT)?
The General Question Technique (GQT) is indeed a polygraph test format that has evolved through time. This method surrounds the relevant questions and relates them to modified or camouflaged controlling questions on lying during the exam.
Despite these debates about the accuracy of the polygraph examination, it must be understood that examiners are incredibly well-trained. Also, they’re often capable of eliciting information the polygraph machine cannot.
Therefore, candidates seeking employment where these higher-level clearances are required should carefully consider their personal histories before consenting to the polygraph examination.