Help! I applied for a position that requires a polygraph. Mine is scheduled for next week and I am concerned about what to wear. It is in the same building as HR and I do not know if I will have an interview then. I would normally wear a business suit but my suits are all paired with camisoles (due to style, 3/4 sleeves, etc.) I am concerned about this because isn’t there a chest strap you are hooked up to? This is a professional position and I am thinking of wearing a blazer and dress slacks and dark cashmere shell that hopefully I will not sweat into from nerves. This is my go-to outfit I wear to work when I do not have court because it is most comfortable and still looks nice. Have you had to think about a physical comfort issue when interviewing and choosing your outfit? For what it is worth I was informed the polygraph will be 90minutes long.
Interesting question! We’ve talked about how to stay professional at the metal detectors, and how to wear an ID badge with style, but we’ve never addressed polygraph tests for job interviews. My gut instinct here tells me, “call and ask” (always an option, ladies!) but in case anyone in the readership has experience with this, I’ll open it up to the readers. Poking around online I did find a number of similar questions, primarily from men about to take police exams — the serious answer seemed to be “business casual,” with the less serious answers ranging from “chicken suit” to “For your polygraph wear a tuxedo. Then go naked to your psyc eval.” Ha! Ha. Ok.
That said — I can see this being one of those times that it really is harder for women. Do they need access to your skin? Which skin (i.e., around your waist/midriff)? Just your arms? I suspect these answers vary based on the specific type of machine, so, again, I’d call. If I had to go in blind, I’d go in wearing something professional but very layer-friendly — pants or a skirt, a “work friendly” tank top (nothing too tight, no bra straps showing) — exactly like the shell that Reader L envisions — and then a cardigan or blazer on top of that. If you’re the type who wears a lot of waist-cinching undergarments (e.g., Spanx’s Higher Power, or the Yummie Tummie type of camisole-girdles that smooth out any belly bulges), I’d skip ‘em for the test, on the off chance you do have to raise your shirt for some part of the test. Above all else — be comfortable! You don’t want your clothes to affect your performance on the test.
Readers, what would you wear to a polygraph test you were taking as part of a job interview? (And for what reason did you have to take the test? I’m guessing a polygraph test is fairly common for AUSA-types, but maybe I’m wrong.)