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Failed FBI poly, what happens next? (Read 13832 times)
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Failed FBI poly, what happens next?
Mar 31st, 2005 at 3:08pm
Mark & Quote Quote 
I'm looking for anyone who could help me out with some information.

I applied for the FBI and took the polygraph examination and failed.  Supposedly I was having a high reaction to the drug related questions.  I can admit that I have done drugs before and have noted that in my file with the FBI.  I also had a reaction to the 'Selling of an illegal drug' question.  I can honestly say I've never sold any drug.  

This high reaction led to an interogation.  The polygrapher was aware that I had researched the polygraph and made the suggestions that perhaps anything I read on the polygraph could be affecting my scores.  He had me explain what I knew.  Then wanted me to sign a statement, which I refused.  He wanted to dictate the statement and basically wanted me to admit to using countermeasures, then he would schedule me for a retest.  So I left knowing I failed and no knowledge on what would happen next.

I tried to contact my coordinator, who has not gotten back to me yet.
Will I be granted a retest??

If I am granted a retest, how could I not fail again?
Will the restest be the same? or rather a whole test regarding drug use?

The first format was the relevant/irrelevant format test.

Help!  I wanted to be an Special Agent with the FBI forever.  I have been so upset and depressed since failing the test and being interogatted.

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Re: Failed FBI poly, what happens next?
Reply #1 - Mar 31st, 2005 at 3:55pm
Mark & Quote Quote 
the same thing happened to me. my first test was inconclusive, i failed the second and the 3rd (appeal test) (just last week)

same questions-both drug questions depsite having no drug history.

i think its very difficult to pass a re-test simply because the anxiety attached to the questions in now greater. the "flight or fight" response is triggered by many things besides lying, but you cant tell a polygrapher that.

if you want a copy of my appeal letter, PM me. I did sucessfully appeal even tho i failed again. I took 4 polygraphs for the FBI (1 private) and never tried countermeasures but my thinking on that issue has changed. the polygraph is nothing more than a police interrogator trying to manipulate your emotional state to produce physiological reactions. the polygrapher assumes he is always successful in this regard and that if you peak on the relevants, the only reason must be deception. it does not cross his mind that the control questions may suck, or you get more antsy about being grilled by an FBI agent about drug peddling than you do about lying to your mother when you were 12 yrs old.

despite going into great detail about my knowledge of polygraph, I was never accused of countermeeasures and it was not mentioned in my reports which I got via FOIA request.

what was the wording of the statement that he wanted you to sign?
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Re: Failed FBI poly, what happens next?
Reply #2 - Mar 31st, 2005 at 5:02pm
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The wording of the statement, sounded like I was incriminating my self.  In other words, he told me to write down that I was taking more breaths during irrelevant questions such as my name and ss#. While counting the seconds of breathes in and out for relevant questions (such as drugs) and taking less breaths.  When he told me to write what he dictated was when I completed rejected and asked to speak with my applicant coordinator, who wasn't in that day.  The examiner also got really mad when I asked to speak with my coordinator as well. 

How do you find out about a retest?  Will I be notified via mail?

I would absolutely love a copy of your appeal!  I was having the same thoughts you had about the post poly.  The examiner made me break into tears, I was sooooo upset I was sobbing.  I'm slowly getting over it, I can't believe I actually cried.  But if he mad me so upset after the test, how am I not going to recall this incident in later tests when the drug question comes up again. 

I'm very new to using this site, how do I 'PM' you?  Is that the same as sending you a notification?
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Re: Failed FBI poly, what happens next?
Reply #3 - Mar 31st, 2005 at 5:49pm
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Quote:
I'm very new to using this site, how do I 'PM' you?  Is that the same as sending you a notification?


To pm:  click pillpopper's name in the upper left of his post.  His user profile will appear.  Scroll down to where it shows pm this person (my wording is probably a little off).  Click the pm command and take off.

To check your messages:  At the top of the screen where it says Hey, FBI_SA_appl you have _ messages, click the _ messages portion.  

Hope that helps.
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Re: Failed FBI poly, what happens next?
Reply #4 - Apr 1st, 2005 at 12:27am
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FBI_SA_Appl:

I just read this post after answering your other one. I know exactly where you are coming from. Sounds like you might have had the same polygraph examiner as me--crazed lying lunatic. My first experience was pretty horrible--there are a lot of similarities in our situations. I empathize with you. I don't know how likely it is that you will get a re-test--I wasn't directly accused of using CMs and had no knowledge of them during my test. I've also heard that it's rare to receive a retest with admitted drug use, though I know for a fact that it does happen. You should receive your letter in the mail within about 3 weeks of your test, withdrawing your conditional employment offer. Move forward with your appeal when you get the letter. Of course, it will be impossible not to react to those questions in a second poly after you've been interrogated at length about them. My advice to you is to begin looking for employment elsewhere during your appeal process. It will make you feel better to try and move on, but it will take some time to get over the mindf*** the examiner has put on you. It makes no sense that the government uses this invalid, subjective testing process to eliminate honest, trustworthy employees. Best of luck to you.      
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Re: Failed FBI poly, what happens next?
Reply #5 - Apr 1st, 2005 at 3:53am
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Quote:
He wanted to dictate the statement and basically wanted me to admit to using countermeasures, then he would schedule me for a retest.

From the tone of your post, it appears that you wisely did not fall for this ploy. When a polygraph operator requests that you make a written statement (especially one worded like you described), it’s not because he feels that things are inconclusive and he wants you to continue in the process with another operator.

Instead, it is overwhelming likely that the examiner is planning to make a written report to disqualify you (for either deception or an arbitrary determination that you employed countermeasures). He is looking for a written confession to help solidify his case. You were smart not to give him one.

Nothing good that can come from making a written admission once a polygraph session has begun. NOTHING.

This is one of the most important pieces of advice that anyone facing a polygraph should know. Failing a polygraph “test” is extremely negative for one’s career potential in law enforcement. Still, having a failed polygraph on your record pales in comparison to having a folder sitting in FBI HQ file drawer with a signed statement from an FBI Special Agent stating that you admitted to him that you attempted to beat the pre-employment screening polygraph. Worse yet is when the above sheet of paper is immediately followed by a note in your handwriting admitting to the above.

It is our experience that applicants who fall for the polygrapher’s “I am here to help you get hired act—it is you and I against ‘headquarters’…” will sign almost anything after a reassuring statement informing the applicant that this is in his best interests. Regrettably, those who go along with this act are often caused irreparable damage.

Quote:
If I am granted a retest, how could I not fail again?
Will the retest be the same? or rather a whole test regarding drug use?

You may be granted a “retest,” but the chance of “passing” it is extremely slim. If a substantial number of people who receive second tests actually passed, it would be an implicit admission by the FBI that the whole process is a sham (which it is). Plus, the 2nd examiner would essentially be making the work of the first look bad.

The sad fact that is that retests (which it seems have been granted much more frequently in recent years) are a sham, set up to make it look like that the FBI has a legitimate redress policy (which it does not). What I can conclude—from the hundreds of people in your situation who have contacted us—is that virtually no one passes the retest.

Quote:
or rather a whole test regarding drug use?

As a rule, FBI retests tend to be full-scope screening exams like the original, not specific issue "tests."

Quote:
think its very difficult to pass a re-test simply because the anxiety attached to the questions in now greater. the "flight or fight" response is triggered by many things besides lying, but you cant tell a polygrapher that.

As I said above, the bigger issue would be that in order to pass the second “test,” you must get one FBI examiner to essentially accuse another of being wrong. This is extremely unlikely, for obvious reasons.

As far as a retest request goes, this letter should be “short and sweet”—no extraneous details. Wait until you get the official results by mail before you do anything. Then, write a letter stating that you received notice that your results “were not within acceptable parameters” (or whatever BS jargon they are using these days), that you were fully truthful during the entire polygraph session, and that you respectfully request a re-test. Signed, your name.

Once again, no details. 
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Re: Failed FBI poly, what happens next?
Reply #6 - Apr 1st, 2005 at 3:09pm
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i put a lot of details in my letter and got a re-test. i didnt have any bad experiences with operators acting like jerks. they were all polite and friendly but with that no-emotion and slight intimadtion thing working that all FBI agents seems to have.

i dont think they are worried about upstaging each other with different results. they would not have an appeal process at all if they were worried about that.

i wouldnt get too conspiratorial in thinking about the process.
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Re: Failed FBI poly, what happens next?
Reply #7 - Apr 1st, 2005 at 8:56pm
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Quote:
put a lot of details in my letter and got a re-test.

Putting detail in an appeal letter probably won't affect your chances of a retest being granted. It may, however, affect your ability to litigate the matter at a later point if you should so choose. For this reason, I advise withholding detail.

Quote:
i dont think they are worried about upstaging each other with different results. they would not have an appeal process at all if they were worried about that.

I respectfully disagree. Prior to the lawsuit being filed against the FBI by Mark Zaid, it appeared that retests were granted very rarely. One of the grounds advanced by the lawsuit is that the plaintiffs had virtually no appeal process available to them after they were disqualified. These retests appear to be an attempt to protect the FBI against future litigation.

Quote:
i wouldnt get too conspiratorial in thinking about the process.

I’m not being conspiratorial, just rational in light of the lawsuit against the FBI working its way through the federal courts. It makes sense for them to now have an appeal process. It does not, however, make sense for them to start overturning a large number of results. This is bad both on the institutional level (numerous divergent results would indicate that the whole process is a fraud—which it is) and on the individual level (it would require one examiner to conclude that the work of another is wrong).

It reeks less of conspiracy than of an agency trying to defend itself against litigation at all costs.
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Re: Failed FBI poly, what happens next?
Reply #8 - Apr 2nd, 2005 at 1:06am
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FBI_SA_Appl:

I agree that it would be wise not to include too much information in your letter. Details could be twisted and later used against you. I was instructed by an agency employee to write that I had told the truth (which I had,) that I wanted a retest and to include specific details about the examiner's behavior(which I had complained about.) I did as instructed and was granted a retest. However, I don't believe receiving a retest had anything to do with the inclusion of details. I believe my retest was simply the agency's effort to smooth things over after the way the examiner treated me. It was more like a criminal interrogation than an employment screening process. My retest was a JOKE. The FBI is not going to pit one polygraph examiner against another by reversing too many poly results. Think about it --if the agency did that, it would  be forced to admit the truth--that its poly screening process is faulty and worthless. I can just imagine what my poly examiner's reaction would have been if a colleague had told him that he had been dead wrong about me--they're too egotistical to second guess themselves or the quality of their work, if you can call it that. If I had it to do over, I would not have included all the details that I did. I didn't know any better--I was just doing as I had been told. I had blind faith in the poly and had no idea that so many problems with it existed. The purpose of the appeal process is to give the appearance of fairness, not give applicants a fair shake. Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever heard of an applicant passing a retest after failing an FBI poly?
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Re: Failed FBI poly, what happens next?
Reply #9 - Apr 4th, 2005 at 12:00pm
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From what I've read and heard so far, I haven't come across a situation where an applicant passed the second time around. 

If anyone else has, please do tell!
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Re: Failed FBI poly, what happens next?
Reply #10 - Apr 5th, 2005 at 12:26am
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if you produce a "truthful chart" I think you will pass. I honestly dont think there is any concern over a reversal. My opinion comes from talking to 2 former FBI polygraph directors. I think thats very hard to do the 2nd time around though, because of course now you are sensitive to those questions because you attach them to an unpleaseant experience. I failed my 2nd poly worse than my first. I failed more relevant questions and had less reaction to the controls.
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Re: Failed FBI poly, what happens next?
Reply #11 - Apr 5th, 2005 at 11:05am
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FBI_SA_Appl:

Even if you produce a truthful chart, don't count on passing. You will be accused of using countermeasures to help you on the test and failed anyway even if there is no proof (ie. lack of your own admission.)  I think this would especially be the case in your situation since you have already been accused of trying to beat the first test. FBI polygraph examiners are threatened by this site and have become so paranoid that they think everyone knows about it and countermeasures. If you are granted a retest, your second poly examiner will have seen the first chart and report when he/she polygraphs you and will undoubtedly be looking for countermeasures, even if you don't use them. You will have to admit everything to the second examiner that you did to the first, including your research and knowledge of countermeasures. It's really a no win situation.   

I'll pose the question again---has anyone ever heard of an applicant passing a retest after having failed an FBI polygraph?
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Re: Failed FBI poly, what happens next?
Reply #12 - Apr 7th, 2005 at 11:42am
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Polyfool,

I was inconclusive, "not acceptable" (accused of countermeasures), and then found acceptable.

Do a search on my posts.  The whole story is there.

The pre-screeing polygraph is arbitrary and I believe it allows the FBI to subjectively get rid of applicants who the "good ole boys" network does not like.  It is secretive and gets around normal legal hiring laws.  Quite impressive for an agency charged with protecting our Constitutional rights.

Regards.
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Re: Failed FBI poly, what happens next?
Reply #13 - Oct 11th, 2006 at 9:01pm
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Don't feel bad, because the polygrapher at the FBI in Little Rock told me the after about 6 tests that I had not failed or passed.  He did a series of questions again, went out of the room, then came back in and said that he was going to fail me.  He kept telling me through the tests that I was having a reaction to a question, but wouldn't tell me which one.  At the end when he told me he was failing me, he told me is was on the question that he combined about the use or sale of illegal drugs.  I told him that I don't understand why he would get a reaction to that, that I was being truthful.

My opinion is that if you admit to ever doing anything,  even if it was once or 15 times, they're still going to hold it against you, even though it says on their website all the drug rules and that if you hadn't done it over so many times, you can still work for them.  I feel that if you just admit that you did anything at all, they're going to brand you as a druggie, and you're not going to get hired.  I think what all they say on their webpage is just an interragation tactic as well.  They want you to admit that you did something, just so they can weed out everyone that's tried some kind of drug.

They didn't say that I wouldn't get hired just because of failing that one question, and we continued the processing.  They said that it would be up to headquarters whether I would still be accepted or not.  They never said anything about an appeal either.  To tell you the truth, if I got a letter saying they were withdrawing my employment offer and that I could appeal the decision and ask to be retested, I don't think it's worth going through all of that again just to work for the FBI.  I'm an honest and loyal person, and I know and others know that I'm a good person, so too heck with the FBI for putting anyone that's honest through all that again.   I think the Polygraph is a bunch of bull.  I have never believed in them, and whoever invented it needs to be spanked.  It's utterly ridiculous.

So has anyone heard of someone failing one question on the polygraph with the FBI, and they still were hired?
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Re: Failed FBI poly, what happens next?
Reply #14 - Oct 11th, 2006 at 11:38pm
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haleyinlr,

Nope. Failing one question on the poly results in failing the whole series. Applicants must pass both series(drug use and national security) in order for processing of their applications to be completed. Failing one question, hence, the poly, stops the application process dead in its tracks.

It's no wonder your polygrapher didn't mention an appeal. Finding the information on how to go about the process is not easy and it's not provided to everyone. It's really a moot  point anyway because the whole appeal/retest process is nothing but a total scam. No one passes a second polygraph in the FBI. It's nothing but a put-on. The agency does it to appear like it's giving applicants a fair shake or a fair appeal process. It's nothing but a joke, but does make it a little harder for the agency to get rid of you by creating a little extra work.

Good luck in your future pursuits.
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