How to Handle the Polygraph Exam and Background Investigation Requirements to become a Border Patrol Agent

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The results of these processes will play a large role in determining your suitability to become an agent of the Customs and Border Protection agency of the Department of Homeland Security.Before you can become a border patrol agent, be ready for your polygraph and background investigation!

To prepare for your background check: have a clean criminal record; a good credit history; and a good employment record!

There are things you can still do to ensure that you get that final employment offer to become a border patrol agent even if there are some questionable areas in your past. Many great agents have successfully dealt with credit and legal issues of their own and STILL made great applicants!

It is highly unlikely that you can “engineer” answers in the polygraph test and pass! So don’t try that! But there are activities you can do before you take the actual test that will prevent the polygraph from “misreading” your answers. In this post, we give you tips on how to handle these two requirements so you still have that fighting chance to become an agent.

First of all, be honest! Felonies and criminal convictions automatically prevent you from being a border patrol agent but other questionable deeds like a poor evaluation from a previous employer does not automatically disqualify you from the job

Lying about these things will keep you from being considered so BE HONEST! Just explain issues that may be flagged from your past. Disclose everything that needs to be discussed rather than let the CBP hiring committee find it out themselves.

Second, always be consistent. Again, this refers back to being honest. If you are truthful in your application then you don’t have to worry about anything. But you can make mistakes in writing dates and other crucial information if you are in a hurry.

Remember that the hiring personnel will confirm where you lived and worked in past; verify your date of birth and your citizenship; and interview people who were part of your life (e.g. a divorced partner). So double-check everything!!

Third, get sufficient sleep on the night before your scheduled polygraph test. Have something to eat before you go and don’t overdo it on caffeine. A polygraph exam generally takes four to six hours so no need to go on an empty stomach!

Try not to schedule any other events for the day so you don’t get distracted.

Fourth, take advantage of the opportunity to discuss concerns you may have about a particular question before the actual test. At this time, all questions that will be asked during the polygraph exam will be discussed and reviewed with you. If you have problems with certain questions, you should tell your tester beforehand.

Fifth, stay calm throughout the process! Remember: be honest and don’t worry!!