Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This Won’t Hurt a Bit

“It’s the polygraph test that usually trips them up.”

I was speaking to a friend of mine about how valuable a security clearance is these days. This particular friend has a fairly high level clearance and we were talking about the number of a people who “wash out” in their attempt to get one.

I thought of my friend today when I read this article by Jeff Stein in The Washington Post today. NSA, one of the largest employers of people with security clearances, “wants job applicants to know that its polygraph test is nothing to sweat.”

In an attempt to allay fears about the test the agency has produced a ten minute video “to soothe applicants' anxiety over the notoriously grim experience.”

"The Truth About the Polygraph" (publicly available on the Defense Security Service's training Web site) opens with various applicants -- or actors playing them, it's not clear -- describing everything bad they had heard about the test, the implication being that none of it is true.”

Good luck with that. If there is an episode in your past that you’d just as soon forget, no feel good video is going to make it any easier to come clean.