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The 3 Main Objectives of the Pre-employment Polygraph Exam

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

(By Jason Holt, Polygraph Tulsa | Lie Detector Test Tulsa OK)

The pre-employment screening process helps employers assess the qualifications and suitability of job candidates before making a hiring decision. This process typically includes a combination of techniques, such as background checks, interviews, reference checks, and for many local, state, and federal police and fire department positions, polygraph (lie detector) examinations.

There are three main objectives of the polygraph exam in pre-employment screening. The first is to increase the disclosure of information during the background investigation. Most governmental employers are looking for disclosures related to property crimes, crimes committed against persons, other acts of violence, illegal sexual acts, illegal drug use and/or distribution, and prior disciplinary issues related to military service and other employers. The goal of the background process is to gain disclosures related to these areas as early in the hiring process as possible.

The second objective of the pre-employment polygraph exam is to deter unsuitable applicants from applying or remaining in the applicant pool. Many police and fire applicants only apply with those agencies that do not include the polygraph exam in their hiring process. These applicants believe major indiscretions in their past will unlikely be found during a background investigation. However, they are unwilling to tempt fate by submitting to a polygraph exam. Thus, they only seek out those positions that do not use the polygraph and hope for the best.

The third main objective of the pre-employment polygraph exam is to detect those applicants who attempt to withhold information during the hiring process. If applicants fail to make disclosures on their pre--polygraph questionnaire or during the pre-exam interview and continue to withhold such information, it is now up to the polygraph examiner to detect the issue. The examiner will utilize several exams to determine whether or not the applicant is being truthful regarding their background.

It is important to note that employers should never rely solely on the results of a polygraph exam to make a hiring decision. Polygraph exams should be used in conjunction with other forms of screening, such as background checks and interviews.

Jason Holt is located in Tulsa and is an Oklahoma licensed, insured, and professional polygraph examiner. He is a member of the American Polygraph Association (APA), the American Association of Police Polygraphists (AAPP), and is currently appointed to Oklahoma’s Polygraph Examiner Board. Jason ensures he exceeds all continuing education requirements required by the state and the APA. Jason specializes in pre-employment polygraph examinations and adheres to very strict standards. For more information and to determine if he can assist you, visit or call Jason at (918) 995-0534.

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