Job interviews are significant barriers for individuals with autism spectrum disorder because these individuals lack good nonverbal communication skills. We developed a job interview training program using an android robot. The job interview training program using an android robot consists the following three stages: (1) tele-operating an android robot and conversing with others through the android robot, (2) a face-to-face mock job interview with the android robot, and (3) feedback based on the mock job interview and nonverbal communication exercises using the android robot. The participants were randomly assigned to the following two groups: one group received a combined intervention with "interview guidance by teachers and job interview training program using an android robot" (n = 13), and the other group received an intervention with interview guidance by teachers alone (n = 16). Before and after the intervention, the participants in both groups underwent a mock job interview with a human interviewer, who provided outcome measurements of nonverbal communication, self-confidence, and salivary cortisol. After the training sessions, the participants who received the combined interview guidance by teachers and the job interview training program using an android robot intervention displayed improved nonverbal communication skills and self-confidence and had significantly lower levels of salivary cortisol than the participants who only received interview guidance by teachers. The job interview training program using an android robot improved various measures of job interview skills in individuals with autism spectrum disorder.
Keywords: android robot; autism spectrum disorder; cortisol; job interview; nonverbal communication.