Simulated job interview skill training for people with psychiatric disability: feasibility and tolerability of virtual reality training

Schizophr Bull. 2011 Sep;37 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):S91-7. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbr061.


The job interview is an important step toward successful employment and often a significant challenge for people with psychiatric disability. Vocational rehabilitation specialists can benefit from a systematic approach to training job interview skills. The investigators teamed up with a company that specializes in creating simulated job interview training to create software that provides a virtual reality experience with which learners can systematically improve their job interview skills, reduce their fears, and increase their confidence about going on job interviews. The development of this software is described and results are presented from a feasibility and tolerability trial with 10 participants with psychiatric disability referred from their vocational service programs. Results indicate that this representative sample had a strongly positive response to the prototype job interview simulation. They found it easy to use, enjoyed the experience, and thought it realistic and helpful. Almost all described the interview as anxiety provoking but that the anxiety lessened as they became more skilled. They saw the benefit of its special features such as ongoing feedback from a "coach in the corner" and from being able to review a transcript of the interview. They believed that they could learn the skills being taught through these methods. Participants were enthusiastic about wanting to use the final product when it becomes available. The advantages of virtual reality technology for training important skills for rehabilitation are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction / instrumentation
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction / methods*
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction / statistics & numerical data
  • Disabled Persons / rehabilitation*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic / methods*
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Rehabilitation, Vocational / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • User-Computer Interface
  • Young Adult