Polygraph screening

What questions are asked during NSA polygraph screening I’m asking because I’m interested in their undergrad intern program, I also would like to know if me having a drug charge PWID (possession with intent to deliver) of a small amount from 2016 that I will be completely honest about will it hinder me from getting in the program

Your drug offense(s) happened a while ago, in your youngster days supposedly.
That will be looked at very closely, but it shouldn’t be a problem if you turned your life around.

I would NOT advise you to research the specific of the polygraph examination (questions, counter-measures…). The last thing you want is to be accused of trying to game the system, because you know too much =)

Anyway, I’d advise being honest and forthcoming from the very beginning (when filling in your SF86) and when talking to your investigator.
That will make it that much easier when getting grilled during your poly’s…

The NSA, like the CIA, uses a polygraph screening technique called the Relevant/Irrelevant Test. This technique, which like other polygraph techniques has no scientific basis, is little changed since the NSA adopted it in 1952. The specific questions that were asked in the early 1990s are available in this instructional worksheet from the federal polygraph school.

As rocket mentioned, I’d caution you from researching the polygraph. They will likely ask you questions about that sort of thing and you wouldn’t want it to seem that you researched in order to try to “beat” it or anything if the sort.

Just focus on being relaxed and honest. It sounds like you’ve got the right idea with being honest about the drug charge. It doesn’t sound to me like something that they would deny you for, but that said, of course you just never know. I wouldn’t worry too much.

Make sure to read through the SF-86 questions very, very carefully so that you list everything accurately. Do some footwork ahead of time as well. Try to pull your criminal record so that the details match. I see people who don’t know if their charge was felony or misdemeanor, don’t know the specific name of the charge, etc. Even though I can understand people not knowing this sort of information, errors like that are still a mark against you in a small way.

The best protection you have is openness.

It is true that if you disclose to a polygraph operator that you’ve researched polygraphy, you run the risk of being arbitrarily accused of having attempted countermeasures. The polygraph community has no actual method for detection of effective polygraph countermeasures, so they seize upon any indication that the subject has researched the procedure as an indication that the subject will try to beat the “test.”

The reason that polygraph operators do not want subjects to research polygraphy is that they will quickly discover that it is a fraudulent pseudoscience that depends on the operator lying to and deceiving the person being “tested.”

Focusing on being relaxed and honest is a poor strategy for passing a polygraph examination. Polygraph outcomes have little to do with whether one has spoken the truth, and if, while focusing on relaxing, one breathes more slowly, one runs the risk of being accused of having used polygraph countermeasures, even though this is not a countermeasure strategy that anyone who understands polygraph procedure would actually employ.