17 Polygraph Examiner Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a polygraph examiner, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

A polygraph examiner, also known as a lie detector operator, is responsible for administering and interpreting lie detector tests. The results of these tests are used in a variety of settings, including pre-employment screening, criminal investigations, and infidelity cases.

Polygraph examiners must have a strong understanding of human behavior, as well as the physiology of stress and anxiety. They must also be able to maintain a neutral demeanor and remain calm in high-pressure situations.

If you’re interested in becoming a polygraph examiner, you will first need to pass a polygraph exam. The questions asked during a polygraph exam are designed to assess your knowledge of polygraphy, as well as your ability to remain calm under pressure. We have put together a list of the most common polygraph examiner interview questions and answers to help you prepare for your exam.

Common Polygraph Examiner Interview Questions

Are you familiar with the physiological responses that occur when someone is lying?

Polygraph examiners must understand the physiological responses that occur when someone is lying. This question allows you to show your knowledge of polygraph testing and how it works. You can answer this question by explaining what happens during a polygraph test and why these reactions happen.

Example: “Yes, I am familiar with the physiological responses that occur when someone is lying. During a polygraph test, there are three main types of questions asked. The first type is relevant questions, which are questions about specific events or situations. These questions allow me to compare the physiological response to the baseline readings. The second type of question is control questions, which are non-relevant questions that help establish the person’s normal physiological response. The third type of question is irrelevant questions, which are unrelated to the case at hand. These questions also help establish the person’s normal physiological response.”

What are some of the most important factors you consider when administering a polygraph test?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your decision-making skills and how you prioritize tasks. In your answer, try to include a list of factors that are important for the job and explain why they’re important.

Example: “I think it’s most important to maintain my client’s privacy during the test. I also make sure to administer the test in a comfortable setting so the examinee feels relaxed. Another factor is making sure the equipment is working properly before administering the test. Finally, I always ensure that I’m familiar with the questions ahead of time so I can prepare the examinee.”

How would you respond if your subject became upset or angry during the test?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your interpersonal skills and ability to remain calm under pressure. In your answer, try to demonstrate that you can empathize with the subject’s feelings while still maintaining control of the situation.

Example: “If a subject became upset or angry during the test, I would first attempt to calm them down by explaining what was happening and why it is important for me to continue administering the test. If they continued to act out, I would take a short break from the exam to allow them time to compose themselves. This gives them an opportunity to relax and regain their composure before continuing.”

What is your process for preparing a subject for a polygraph test?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your process for conducting a polygraph test. They want to know how you prepare the subject and yourself before the test begins. In your answer, describe what steps you take to ensure that you are ready to conduct the test and that the subject is comfortable.

Example: “I always make sure I have all of my equipment ready before meeting with the subject. This includes making sure the computer system is working properly and that I have enough paper in the printer. Before the test starts, I also explain the entire testing process to the subject so they understand what to expect. I do this because it helps them feel more at ease during the exam.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to collect evidence based on a polygraph test result.

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your experience conducting polygraph tests and how you apply the results of those tests in real-world situations. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation where you used evidence from a polygraph test to solve a problem or help someone.

Example: “In my last position as a polygraph examiner, I conducted a test for a client who was applying for a job at a bank. During the test, I asked the client if they had ever stolen anything from their previous employer. The client answered no, but when I reviewed the results of the test, I noticed that there were several instances of physiological response that indicated deception. I contacted the client’s previous employer to discuss the results of the test. They confirmed that the client had indeed stolen something from them. By using the results of the test, I helped both the client and their previous employer resolve the issue.”

If your subject provided inconsistent answers during the test, how would you address the situation?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your interviewing skills and how you handle challenging situations. In your answer, describe a situation where you had to address inconsistencies in the subject’s answers during a polygraph test. Explain what steps you took to resolve the issue and highlight your communication and problem-solving skills.

Example: “During my last job as a polygraph examiner, I conducted a test on a suspect who was accused of embezzlement. During the test, the subject answered ‘no’ when I asked if he stole money from his employer. However, when I asked him whether he ever took money from his employer, he said ‘yes.’ When I asked him why he gave inconsistent answers, he told me that he thought I was asking about taking money from his personal bank account. He apologized for giving me inaccurate information and we continued with the rest of the test.”

What would you do if you believed your subject was intentionally trying to deceive you during the test?

Polygraph examiners must be able to recognize when a subject is trying to deceive them. This question helps the interviewer assess your ability to handle such situations and how you would respond. In your answer, demonstrate that you understand why someone might try to cheat on a polygraph test and what steps you would take to ensure you maintain control of the situation.

Example: “I have had this experience before as an examiner. I believe it’s important to remain calm in these situations because if I react too strongly, it could make the situation worse. Instead, I focus on remaining professional and asking questions about their answers until they are willing to cooperate with me again. If they continue to refuse to answer my questions or fail to provide truthful responses, I will end the examination.”

How well do you perform under pressure?

Polygraph examiners often work in high-pressure situations. They must remain calm and collected while administering polygraph tests to individuals who may be nervous or anxious about the results. Employers ask this question to make sure you can perform well under pressure. In your answer, explain that you are a highly organized individual with strong problem-solving skills. You should also emphasize that you have excellent communication skills.

Example: “I am an extremely organized person, so I thrive in high-pressure situations. Throughout my career as a police officer, I was always called upon when there were urgent matters to attend to. I would assess the situation, gather all of the facts and then develop a plan of action. I find that I am quite good at solving problems on the spot.

In addition to performing well under pressure, I am also very good at remaining calm and collected. When working with others, I try to stay positive and encouraging. This helps put people at ease and makes them more willing to share information.”

Do you have experience working with other law enforcement professionals to collect evidence based on polygraph results?

Polygraph examiners often work with other law enforcement professionals to collect evidence based on the results of a polygraph test. An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience working in a team environment and how you collaborate with others. In your answer, try to explain what steps you take to ensure that all relevant information is collected during an investigation.

Example: “In my previous role as a polygraph examiner, I worked closely with local police departments to help them gather evidence after conducting a polygraph test. For example, if someone failed their polygraph test, I would provide the police department with the person’s contact information so they could interview them further. If someone passed their polygraph test, I would provide the same information to the police department so they could continue their investigation.”

When is it appropriate to use a polygraph test?

This question can help the interviewer determine your knowledge of when to use a polygraph test and how you apply that knowledge. Use examples from your experience in which you used a polygraph test appropriately, such as for pre-employment screening or during an investigation.

Example: “I believe it’s appropriate to use a polygraph test when there is a need to verify information regarding a crime or other incident. For example, I recently conducted a polygraph test on a suspect who was being questioned about a robbery at a local convenience store. The suspect denied any involvement in the robbery, but after taking the polygraph test, he admitted to committing the robbery.”

We want our polygraph examiners to be able to adapt to changing circumstances. How would you handle a situation where your original plan didn’t work out?

Interviewers want to know that you can think on your feet and come up with a solution. They also want to see how you handle failure, as it’s inevitable in this line of work. Your answer should show that you are willing to try new things and learn from mistakes.

Example: “I would first evaluate the situation and determine what went wrong. I would then use my experience to develop a new plan for getting the job done. If I was interviewing someone who failed their polygraph test, I might ask them more questions about their answers or give them another chance to take the test. In an urgent situation, I would do whatever I could to get the results I needed.”

Describe your process for reviewing past cases to determine how you can improve your current investigations.

Interviewers may ask this question to see how you apply your critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities to improve your work. Use examples from past experiences where you analyzed your performance and made changes to your methods or techniques to show the interviewer that you can adapt to new situations and challenges.

Example: “In my last position, I reviewed all of my cases at the end of each month to determine what areas I could improve on. For example, if a client was nervous during their polygraph test, I would review the results to find out why they were nervous and then use those findings to help me better prepare for future clients who exhibited similar behaviors. This process helped me become more efficient in my work and allowed me to provide better service to my clients.”

What makes you an ideal candidate for a polygraph examiner position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their organization. Before your interview, make a list of all the skills and experiences that make you an ideal candidate for this role. Consider including any relevant certifications or training you have completed in the past.

Example: “I am passionate about helping others, which is why I became a police officer. In my current position, I’ve learned how to read people’s body language and detect when someone is lying. This skill makes me an excellent candidate for a polygraph examiner position because I understand what it takes to be successful in this career. I also have experience conducting lie detector tests, so I know what questions to ask and how to interpret the results.”

Which computer programs or software have you used to enter data and analyze results?

Polygraph examiners use computer programs to enter data and analyze results. The interviewer wants to know if you have experience using these types of programs. If you do, mention the program by name and describe how it helped you in your previous job. If you don’t have any experience with this type of software, explain that you are willing to learn new things and develop skills as needed.

Example: “I’ve used Polygraph Examiner Software for over five years now. It’s a great tool because I can enter all my data into one place and then analyze the information later. This helps me find trends in test results and compare them to other exams I’ve conducted.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of your job as a polygraph examiner?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you understand what your job entails and how it benefits the organization. Your answer should highlight your understanding of polygraph examiner responsibilities, as well as your commitment to upholding professional standards.

Example: “I think the most important aspect of my job as a polygraph examiner is ensuring that I am always conducting myself in a way that upholds the integrity of the profession. Polygraph examiners are held to high ethical standards, so I take great care to ensure that I am always acting with honesty and integrity. In addition, I believe that maintaining confidentiality is another essential part of this role. As a member of the HR department, I know that I have access to sensitive information about employees, which means I must be extra careful when handling confidential data.”

How often do you think you should update your knowledge on human physiology and the use of polygraph tests?

Interviewers may ask this question to see if you are committed to your career and want to continue learning. They might also be looking for a specific answer that shows how often they should update their knowledge, so it’s important to read the job description before answering.

Example: “I think it is very important to stay up-to-date on human physiology and polygraph testing because these areas of expertise can change over time. I try to attend at least one conference or seminar every year where I learn about new techniques and advancements in technology. I also subscribe to several journals and newsletters that provide information on current research.”

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the use of polygraph tests in law enforcement. How do you feel about this issue, and do you think there are any ways to improve the accuracy of polygraph tests?

Polygraph tests are often controversial because they can be inaccurate. The interviewer may ask you this question to see how you feel about the use of polygraphs in law enforcement and whether you have any ideas for improving their accuracy. In your answer, try to show that you understand why polygraphs are controversial while also showing that you believe there is a place for them in law enforcement.

Example: “I think there is definitely a place for polygraphs in law enforcement. I know many people who have been wrongly accused of crimes based on false confessions or other evidence. Polygraphs can help determine if someone is telling the truth when they confess to a crime. However, I do think we need to find ways to improve the accuracy of these tests. One way to do this might be to develop more advanced technology.”


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