What to Expect

In every polygraph, the first two questions will always be:
1. Is this the month of ____________?
2. Are you going to tell even one lie on this test?

The list of questions will be asked three times, with rest breaks between each time.  During the first rest break liars often ask, “How did I do?” The polygraph examiner should never affect the rest of the examination by saying, or even hinting, that it already looks truthful or deceptive.

The examiner will pause about 30 seconds between each question. The examiner will often change the order in which the questions are asked, but no new or different questions will be added without your permission.  

The important part of the polygraph does not happen in the computer or in your body. It happens in your mind.  A lie detector test is a procedure that you will have to make work, with concentration and effort. You will have to put aside all distractions. Forget what you think a polygraph should be like and concentrate on the directions on this page.

Again, remember that a polygraph is not a nervous detector. Most truthful people feel nervous and uncomfortable, so do not even try to relax. Liars are trying to control their bodies, trying to prevent any physical change when they lie. Liars try to put their minds in a peaceful, faraway place. The harder a person tries to relax, tries to slow down their hearts, the more suspicious, the more phony the polygraph looks. 

How to Prepare

Try to get a good night’s sleep. Do not schedule yourself for an appointment at the end of an especially hard day or hard week.

If your appointment is in the morning, try to get some breakfast. If it is in the afternoon, be sure to have lunch. Be sure to take your medication the way it is prescribed. If you are a coffee drinker, you don’t need to skip it. Nervousness will not affect your test at all.

When you arrive, we will talk about how to make the polygraph fair, and we will discuss for the better part of an hour the questions that should be asked. You will get to hear every word of your polygraph questions before they are asked during the actual examination. It is important that you clearly understand the questions and you have already agreed to answer them yes or no before the examination begins.

Learn more.