During our initial assessments of Virtual Reality Job Interview Training (VR-JIT), we had the privilege to conduct a study with a group of job-seeking U.S. Military Veterans experiencing post traumatic stress disorder. VR-JIT has specific features designed to help veterans discuss how their skills learned in the military can apply to community-based employment. Thus, we evaluated whether VR-JIT helped Veterans improve their job interview skills, self-confidence, and access to employment.
This study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health with a grant awarded to SIMmersion, LLC (R44 MH080496, PI: Dr. Dale Olsen). Dr. Matthew Smith led the study when he was still an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University. To complete this project, we partnered with the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center and the Edward Hines Jr VA Medical Center in the Chicago Metropolitan Area to recruit our research participants.
The study is a 2-arm randomized control trial in which U. S. Military Veterans with a history of post traumatic stress disorder and enrolled in VA services were randomized to receive VA services-as-usual or in combination with VR-JIT. Participants complete study measures, among them mock job interviews and self-report measures on self-confidence prior to and after the intervention period. Participants also complete a 6-month follow-up study visit to evaluate their employment history after completing VR-JIT training.
1) Higher rates of receiving job offers for participants using VR-JIT. We observed that 25% of Veterans receiving VA services-as-usual received a competitive job offer by 6 months, while 51% of Veterans practicing with VR-JIT along with receiving VA services received competitive job offers by 6 months.
2) Veterans improved their VR-JIT scores across easy, medium, and hard interviews. Participants engaged with VR-JIT over two weeks and completed an average of 15 virtual interviews.
3) Veterans using VR-JIT improved their job interview skills when compared to Veterans without access to VR-JIT.
4) Veterans using VR-JIT improved their job interview confidence when compared to Veterans without access to VR-JIT.
5) Veterans find VR-JIT easy to use and enjoyable.
June 27, 2020