Hello everyone, I have a full scope polygraph coming up for a new job that requires it. I currently have a CI poly and had no problems with it. I am a little nervous because in 2016 I was kind of peer pressured into using shrooms. It happened once when I was hanging out with a friend. I have never smoked anything since then and told them in my last SF86. I am very regretful of doing it. I know that is a red flag in security investigations. I’m hoping it won’t disqualify me and because it was a one time thing and I haven’t done anything like that or anything remotely similar it would be forgiven. I didn’t seem to have any problems with telling them about it in my SF86. They asked me a few questions but after I explained to them the situation I have since been renewed of my clearance. So it seems to have came back good. But with a full scope I don’t know if that would be the same. Any help is greatly appreciated.
The commonly used full scope polygraph screening formats (the Relevant/Irrelevant Test used by the CIA and NSA, the Law Enforcement Pre-Employment Test used by federal law enforcement agencies, and the Test for Espionage, Sabotage, and Corruption used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection) all include a relevant question about use of illegal drugs. You can expect to be questioned about your past drug use during the pre-test, and possibly in a post-test interrogation.
It is a big plus that you disclosed this on the forms. If you had not done that and then admitted it during the poly, that would almost certainly be the end of it.
The only thing you should be aware of is that the examiner/interviewer/whatever will probably try pretty hard to get you to admit to other drug use. And that’s not just for a polygraph, that’s for any kind of security interview. They are always suspicious (perhaps rightly so) of the person who says “well there was just this one time.”
It may have been a bright red flag at one time but it seems to keep fading.
It’s only been the one time. Seriously.
On my full-scope polygraph back in April, they did 3 or 4 rounds of each section (CI and Lifestyle, respectively).
For each round within each respective section, the questions were identical. They only changed the order in which they asked them.
I reported that I had continuous contact with a foreign national within the last 7 years, so one of my CI questions was “Do you have any secret foreign contacts that you have not reported?”. I answered “no” each time and was never hounded on it further.
At the conclusion of the questioning, my polygraph examiner gave me a vague statement about how they saw some anomalies and they need check with QA to see if they need to collect any more data. They left me hooked up to the machine just in case.
They returned maybe 5 minutes later and told me I passed. There was no post-test interrogation.
I know this may not be completely relevant as drug use and foreign contacts aren’t the same thing, but I thought I would share anyways.
So I suppose the moral of the story is that if you were truthful on the SF-86 and you answer truthfully during the exam, you should be okay.
100% correct. Honesty is always best.