Columbia, MD (PRWEB) March 31, 2015

A single thirty-minute job interview can change a person’s life. So much potential for advancement or disappointment is crowded into a narrow space of time that the interview experience is intimidating and stressful for jobseekers in any field. It can be difficult to know what to expect, or how to best present personal accomplishments and traits in the best light for that particular employer. For jobseekers with less-than-ideal backgrounds, such as large gaps in work history, the guessing game of what to say and when is even more of a challenge.

To help jobseekers from all backgrounds prepare themselves for success in interviews, SIMmersion created the virtual reality training system Job Interview Training with Molly Porter. Users and institutions across the country have embraced the course, which was initially developed with funding from the National Institute of Mental Health (Grant # R43/R44MH080496). A new arrangement betweenSIMmersion and Independent Living Resources, Inc.(ILR) will help even more jobseekers nationwide discover this valuable, evidence-based tool for getting results from a job search.

“ILR has known and respected the work of SIMmersion for many years,” says Nancy Carter, Executive Director of ILR. “Our combined efforts to bring cutting edge technologies to the most vulnerable populations are exciting. ILR has worked for almost 30 years in the area of helping young adults transition to adulthood. Job Interview Training with Molly Porter will allow our youth populations to practice in a simulated experience before it counts. ILR has been successful using simulated real world experiences to assist youths as they transition. Job Interview Training provides an excellent vehicle to continue that success.”

In Job Interview Training with Molly Porter, users build their skills and confidence in role-play interviews with a simulated HR Manager named Molly Porter. Molly is portrayed in video by a trained actress for greater realism than a 3D avatar would provide. She has a repertoire of more than a thousand standard interview questions and follow-ups to ask, giving users experience fielding some of the questions they’re certain to hear in the real world. If users personalize their experience by filling out an optional mock job application, Molly’s questions will change to reflect some of the specific information users have shared about themselves. Molly has four distinct personalities that vary from play to play, and an advanced emotional model that makes her more open and encouraging over time if users make strong choices and more distant or disinterested if users make a string of mistakes. An on-screen coach captures teachable moments every step of the way. Comprehensive scoring screens after the conversation break the user’s performance down into different areas, like “sounding professional” or “expressing interest in the job,” with suggestions for how to improve.

Researchers at Northwestern University have found that using Job Interview Training significantly increased the interview skills and self-confidence of users from a range of populations, including users with disabilities like Autism. Follow-up research found that Job Interview Training users were nine times more likely to have a job offer within six months than their peers without the training.

“We’re very proud of the results we’re seeing from this simulation,” says Dr. Dale Olsen, President of SIMmersion. “And we’re excited at the potential this new arrangement with ILR has to help bring the benefits of Job Interview Training to an even bigger audience.”

As a leading provider of tools and resources to transition-age youth and the organizations that serve them, ILR has a large audience base and significant monthly traffic to its online storefront. A recently released Real World Simulation Program fits nicely with SIMmersion’s Job Interview Training. New material will be developed for http://www.ilrinc.comto help visitors learn about SIMmersion’s Job Interview Training course and its potential to support jobseekers. “Because our goals are so compatible and we have a shared target audience, ILR is a natural partner,” says Olsen. “We’re confident that this arrangement will help both of us realize new traffic and bring even more value to our customers.”

Find the full press release HERE