A lie detector test, also known as a polygraph exam, depends upon physiological shifts in your body to determine your truthfulness when you are asked a series of questions. These can include changes in your breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and skin conductivity. This latter metric in the polygraph test measures electrical flow from one point to another is based on moisture in the skin.
Before submitting to your polygraph examination as a step in the application process, it is best to consult with a national security clearance attorney. You should speak with one who has experience serving clients who have submitted to a lie detector test and are familiar with how they work. A lawyer from The Lawscape Law Firm can help get your ready to take the exam. Our excellent security clearance attorneys are well aware of this aspect of the security clearance process and are equipped to provide help.
Exactly How Does a Polygraph Test Work?
For the most part, an increase in your heart rate, blood pressure, respiration and/or perspiration can indicate stress on the lie detector test. The rule of thumb is that people who lie during a polygraph exam almost always experience an increase in these parameters. The polygraph examiner questions you about all aspects of your present and past behavior. The exam is rather thorough and normally takes between two and four hours.
Two varieties of this test may be administered in a security clearance investigation:
- The Counterintelligence polygraph
- The Lifestyle polygraph
The Counterintelligence Polygraph
For national security clearance, the counterintelligence polygraph can be administered for multiple government agencies, including:
- The Department of Defense
- The Department of Homeland Security
- The Department of Energy
- The Department of Justice
- The Central Intelligence Agency
On the counterintelligence polygraph, the examiner mainly poses questions related to spying, including the areas of espionage, sabotage, and terrorism.
The Lifestyle Polygraph
To determine if a job applicant can be trusted with secret information, a lifestyle polygraph is administered.
The examiner generally asks questions regarding:
- Criminal activity
- Drug use
- Mental health issues
- Sexual misconduct
- Family relationships
- Purposely falsifying information on any questionnaires or during interviews
Schedule Your Private Consultation with The Lawscape Law Firm
Taking any lie detector test can be a stressful experience for most people. Having a conversation with a specialist who is familiar with the procedures involved and who has insights as to why and how the test is given could help you feel more at ease during the examination. Ahead of the exam, applicants are instructed to get a good night’s sleep, to follow their customary daily routine, take their usual medications, take care not to skip meals, and show up at the test site early. Are you applying for a security clearance or contesting a security clearance denial? Have you been informed that you will be subjected to a polygraph examination? No worries! We can help you.
Get in touch with our national security clearance law firm.