Skip to main content

Virtual Reality Job Interview Training in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Abstract

The feasibility and efficacy of virtual reality job interview training (VR-JIT) was assessed in a single-blinded randomized controlled trial. Adults with autism spectrum disorder were randomized to VR-JIT (n = 16) or treatment-as-usual (TAU) (n = 10) groups. VR-JIT consisted of simulated job interviews with a virtual character and didactic training. Participants attended 90 % of laboratory-based training sessions, found VR-JIT easy to use and enjoyable, and they felt prepared for future interviews. VR-JIT participants had greater improvement during live standardized job interview role-play performances than TAU participants (p = 0.046). A similar pattern was observed for self-reported self-confidence at a trend level (p = 0.060). VR-JIT simulation performance scores increased over time (R 2 = 0.83). Results indicate preliminary support for the feasibility and efficacy of VR-JIT, which can be administered using computer software or via the internet.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

References

  1. Aldridge, F. J., Gibbs, V. M., Schmidhofer, K., & Williams, M. (2012). Investigating the clinical usefulness of the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) in a tertiary level, autism spectrum disorder specific assessment clinic. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42, 294–300. doi:10.1007/s10803-011-1242-9.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Barrows, H. S. (1993). An overview of the uses of standardized patients for teaching and evaluating clinical skills. AAMC. Academic Medicine: Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 68, 443–451.; discussion 451–453.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Bell, M., Bryson, G., & Lysaker, P. (1997). Positive and negative affect recognition in schizophrenia: A comparison with substance abuse and normal control subjects. Psychiatry Research, 73, 73–82.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Bell, M. D., & Weinstein, A. (2011). Simulated job interview skill training for people with psychiatric disability: Feasibility and tolerability of virtual reality training. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 37, S91–S97.

  6. Cohen, D. S., Colliver, J. A., Marcy, M. S., Fried, E. D., & Swartz, M. H. (1996). Psychometric properties of a standardized-patient checklist and rating-scale form used to assess interpersonal and communication skills. Academic Medicine: Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 71, S87–S89.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Constantino, J. N., & Gruber, C. P. (2012). Social responsiveness scale, second edition (SRS-2) (2nd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Fleming, M. F., Olsen, D. E., Stathes, H., Boteler, L., Grossberg, P., Pfeifer, J., et al. (2009). Virtual reality skills training for health care professionals in alcohol screening and brief intervention. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine: JABFM, 22, 387–398. doi:10.3122/jabfm.2009.04.080208.

  9. Gurney, J. G., Fritz, M. S., Ness, K. K., Sievers, P., Newschaffer, C. J., & Shapiro, E. G. (2003). Analysis of prevalence trends of autism spectrum disorder in Minnesota. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 157, 622–627. doi:10.1001/archpedi.157.7.622.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Hall, N. C., Gradt-Jackson, S. E., Goetz, T., & Musu-Gillette, L. E. (2011). Attributional retraining, self-esteem, and the job interview: Benefits and risks for college student employment. Journal of Experimental Education, 79, 318–339.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Harris, P. A., Taylor, R., Thielke, R., Payne, J., Gonzalez, N., & Conde, J. G. (2009). Research electronic data capture (REDCap)—A metadata-driven methodology and workflow process for providing translational research informatics support. Journal of Biomedical Informatics, 42, 377–381.

    PubMed  Article  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  12. Hendricks, D. (2010). Employment and adults with autism spectrum disorders: Challenges and strategies for success. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 32, 125–134.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Higgins, K. K., Koch, L. C., Boughfman, E. M., & Vierstra, C. (2008). School-to-work transition and Asperger Syndrome. Work, 31, 291–298.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Huffcutt, A. I. (2011). An empirical review of the employment interview construct literature. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 19, 62–81.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Issenberg, S. B., McGaghie, W. C., Petrusa, E. R., Lee Gordon, D., & Scalese, R. J. (2005). Features and uses of high-fidelity medical simulations that lead to effective learning: A BEME systematic review. Medical Teacher, 27, 10–28. doi:10.1080/01421590500046924.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Kandalaft, M. R., Didehbani, N., Krawczyk, D. C., Allen, T. T., & Chapman, S. B. (2013). Virtual reality social cognition training for young adults with high-functioning autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43, 34–44. doi:10.1007/s10803-012-1544-6.

    PubMed  Article  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  17. Knott, F., Dunlop, A. W., & Mackay, T. (2006). Living with ASD: How do children and their parents assess their difficulties with social interaction and understanding? Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, 10, 609–617. doi:10.1177/1362361306068510.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Lord, C., Rutter, M., & Le Couteur, A. (1994). Autism diagnostic interview-revised: A revised version of a diagnostic interview for caregivers of individuals with possible pervasive developmental disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 24, 659–685.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Lord, C., Rutter, M., Goode, S., Heemsbergen, J., Jordan, H., Mawhood, L., et al. (1989). Autism diagnostic observation schedule: A standardized observation of communicative and social behavior. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 19, 185–212.

  20. Myers, W. R. (2000). Handling missing data in clinical trials: An overview. Drug Information Journal, 34, 525–533.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Olsen, D. E., Sellers, W. A., & Phillips, R. G. (1999). The simulation of a human subject for law enforcement training. Washington, DC: Office of National Drug Control Policy.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Pinkham, A. E., Penn, D. L., Green, M. F., Buck, B., Healey, K., & Harvey, P. D. (2013). The social cognition psychometric evaluation study: Results of the expert survey and RAND panel. Schizophrenia Bulletin. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbt081.

    PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  23. Randolph, C., Tierney, M. C., Mohr, E., & Chase, T. N. (1998). The repeatable battery for the assessment of neuropsychological status (RBANS): Preliminary clinical validity. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 20, 310–319. doi:10.1076/jcen.20.3.310.823.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Salgado, J. F., & Moscoso, S. (2002). Comprehensive meta-analysis of the construct validity of the employment interview. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 11, 299–324.

  25. Shattuck, P. T., Narendorf, S. C., Cooper, B., Sterzing, P. R., Wagner, M., & Taylor, J. L. (2012). Postsecondary education and employment among youth with an autism spectrum disorder. Pediatrics, 129, 1042–1049. doi:10.1542/peds.2011-2864.

    PubMed  Article  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  26. Sheehan, D. V., Lecrubier, Y., Sheehan, K. H., Amorim, P., Janavs, J., Weiller, E., et al. (1998). The mini-international neuropsychiatric interview (M.I.N.I.): The development and validation of a structured diagnostic psychiatric interview for DSM-IV and ICD-10. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 59(Suppl 20), 22–33.; quiz 34–57.

  27. Smith, M. J., Ginger, E. J., Wright, M. A., Wright, K., Boteler Humm, L., Olsen, D. E., et al. (in press). Virtual reality job interview training for individuals with psychiatric disabilities. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.

  28. Smith, M. J., Horan, W. P., Cobia, D. J., Karpouzian, T. M., Fox, J. M., Reilly, J. L., et al. (2013). Performance-based empathy mediates the influence of working memory on social competence in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbt084.

  29. Sommers, M. S., Lyons, M. S., Fargo, J. D., Sommers, B. D., McDonald, C. C., Shope, J. T., et al. (2013). Emergency department-based brief intervention to reduce risky driving and hazardous/harmful drinking in young adults: A randomized controlled trial. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research. doi:10.1111/acer.12142.

  30. Sterne, J. A., White, I. R., Carlin, J. B., Spratt, M., Royston, P., Kenward, M. G., et al. (2009). Multiple imputation for missing data in epidemiological and clinical research: Potential and pitfalls. BMJ, 338, b2393. doi:10.1136/bmj.b2393.

  31. Stichter, J. P., Laffey, J., Galyen, K., & Herzog, M. (2013). iSocial: Delivering the social competence intervention for adolescents (SCI-A) in a 3D virtual learning environment for youth with high functioning autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. doi:10.1007/s10803-013-1881-0.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Strickland, D. C., Coles, C. D., & Southern, L. B. (2013). JobTIPS: A transition to employment program for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. doi:10.1007/s10803-013-1800-4.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  33. Tay, C., Ang, S., & Van Dyne, L. (2006). Personality, biographical characteristics, and job interview success: A longitudinal study of the mediating effects of interviewing self-efficacy and the moderatin geffects of internal locus of causality. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91, 446–454.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Taylor, J. L., McPheeters, M. L., Sathe, N. A., Dove, D., Veenstra-Vanderweele, J., & Warren, Z. (2012). A systematic review of vocational interventions for young adults with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatrics, 130, 531–538. doi:10.1542/peds.2012-0682.

    PubMed  Article  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  35. Taylor, J. L., & Seltzer, M. M. (2011). Employment and post-secondary educational activities for young adults with autism spectrum disorders during the transition to adulthood. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41, 566–574. doi:10.1007/s10803-010-1070-3.

    PubMed  Article  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  36. Trepagnier, C. Y., Olsen, D. E., Boteler, L., & Bell, C. A. (2011). Virtual conversation partner for adults with autism. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 14, 21–27. doi:10.1089/cyber.2009.0255.

    PubMed  Article  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  37. Wehman, P. H., Schall, C. M., McDonough, J., Kregel, J., Brooke, V., Molinelli, A., et al. (2013). Competitive employment for youth with autism spectrum disorders: Early results from a randomized clinical trial. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. doi:10.1007/s10803-013-1892-x.

  38. Wilkinson, G. S., & Robertson, G. J. (2006). Wide range achievement test 4 professional manual. Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Wing, L., & Gould, J. (1979). Severe impairments of social interaction and associated abnormalities in children: Epidemiology and classification. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 9, 11–29.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

Support for this work was provided by a grant to Dr. Dale Olsen (R44 MH080496) from the National Institute of Mental Health with a subcontract to Dr. Michael Fleming at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. We would like to thank Dr. Zoran Martinovich for his consultation on the statistical analyses. The authors acknowledge research staff at Northwestern University’s Clinical Research Program for data collection and our participants for volunteering their time.

Conflict of interest

Drs. Smith, Lounds Taylor, and Fleming as well as Ms. Ginger, Ms. Wright, and Mr. Wright have no conflicts of interest to declare in relation to the subject of this study. Dr. Olsen and Ms Boteler Humm have owners equity in SIMmersion and Dr. Bell was a paid consultant by SIMmersion during the development of the intervention.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Matthew J. Smith.

Appendices

Appendix 1: Fidelity Checklist for Facilitator of Virtual Reality Job Interview Training

figurea
figureb

Appendix 2: Role-Play Interview Scoring

figurec
figured

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Smith, M.J., Ginger, E.J., Wright, K. et al. Virtual Reality Job Interview Training in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord 44, 2450–2463 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-014-2113-y

Download citation

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Internet-based intervention
  • Job interview skills
  • Vocational training