National Security Clearance Attorneys Serving Clients Since 1976
A polygraph exam or lie detector test relies on physiologic changes in your body to determine your truthfulness when you are asked a series of questions. These changes can be changes in your heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, and skin conductivity. Skin conductivity, which measures electrical flow from one point to another, in the polygraph test is based on moisture in the skin.
Before taking your polygraph examination as part of your application, it is best to speak with a national security clearance lawyer who has experience working with clients who have taken lie detector test and are familiar with them. An attorney from The Edmunds Law Firm can help prepare you for the exam. Our top-rated security clearance attorneys understand this aspect of the security clearance process and are able to provide help.
How Does a Polygraph Test Work?
In general, an increase in your heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, and/or perspiration can indicate stress on the lie detector test. As a rule, people who lie during a polygraph exam will experience an increase in these parameters. The polygraph examiner will question you about all aspects of your present and past behavior. It is a thorough exam that usually takes between two and four hours.
- Two types of tests may be given in a security clearance investigation:
- Counterintelligence polygraph
- Lifestyle polygraph
- The counterintelligence polygraph for national security clearance can be conducted for numerous government agencies, including:
- The Department of Defense
- The Department of Homeland Security
- The Department of Energy
- The Department of Justice
- The Central Intelligence Agency
The counterintelligence polygraph asks questions related to spying, including the areas of espionage, sabotage, and terrorism.
The lifestyle polygraph is given to determine if a job applicant can be trusted with secret information.
- The examiner asks questions regarding:
- Criminal activity
- Use of drugs
- Purposely falsifying information on any questionnaires or during interviews
- Sexual misconduct
- Family relationships
- Mental health issues
Request a Private Consultation with The Edmunds Law Firm
Merely taking the test can be a stressful experience. Speaking with a professional who is familiar with the procedures involved and who understands why and how the test is given could help you feel more relaxed during the examination. Prior to taking the exam, applicants are told to get a good night’s sleep the night before the test, follow their normal routine, take their usual medications, be sure not to miss meals, and arrive at the test site early. If you are applying for a security clearance or contesting a security clearance denial and know you will be taking a polygraph examination, we can help you.
Contact our national security clearance law firm at (800) 481-2526 to schedule an evaluation of your case.