I went to a job interview and got a drug test, they said that my test was non-negative: what does that mean?

I haven't smoked in over a month and I sweat a lot.

Does it mean I came out positive?

They sent my sample for a second test for confirmation.

  • Non-negative means it wasn't negative which means more the likely they detected trace amount but perhaps within the margin of error, but the important thing to understand, it wasn't negative which means if that's what you needed you more or less failed the drug test – Donald Jul 24 '16 at 4:44

It probably means they're using a cheap quick test with a relatively high rate of false positives for various reasons. The chemistry is complex, and similar chemicals could be responsible.

Rather than straight out call it a positive, they will ask for a second test. This is more expensive and lots more sensitive and reliable. Overall the company saves money by using the first cheaper test as a filter.

Drugs can stay in your system in trace amounts for quite sometime. Cannabis, for example, is easily detected in urine for up to a month. Other tests can find it in hair samples for much longer.

Simple rule is - if you ever expect a drug test in your line of work - don't smoke or take drugs, ever.

If this is for a new position - well, be prepared to be knocked back if not enough time has passed since you stopped.

  • Or, more simply: "don't smoke or take drugs, ever!" If you have been given a prescription drug in the past year, keep a photocopy of that prescription or the record provided by the pharmacy, which will list the prescribing doctor's name. – Mike Robinson Jul 26 '16 at 15:29

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.