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Growing Interview Confidence using VR

Growing Interview Confidence using Virtual Reality

Do you want to build your confidence in interview? Are you a Widening Participation undergraduate student? Would you like to take part in an exciting new research project run by the Career Zone in collaboration with the Centre for Social Mobility? 

If you answered yes to all the questions above, you could sign up to our new project exploring the use of Virtual Reality (VR) to build interview and presentation skill confidence.  

We know that interviews and can be a source of anxiety for students as they enter the recruitment process, and we want to explore how VR might help develop these skills and reduce nerves during the recruitment process. 

VR technology uses electronic eyewear to immerse the use in a computer simulated environment which can be interacted with through movement, touch, and speech. A real-world scenario can be recreated in VR allowing the user to observe demonstrations of a skill before practicing it themselves. This means that you could practice and develop your interview skills, and receive feedback, without having to have those early attempts be in front of a human.

We are offering you the opportunity to take part in training in using a VR headset before being immersed in a virtual environment in which you will practice and develop your interview skills. Our hope this that the VR environment will provide you with a safe space to practice and test your skills.  

As part of this research project, we will ask participants to share their subjective opinions on the usefulness and effectiveness of the VR-based skills training. We will use this information to help us understand the future potential of VR in our employability provision at the University and the implications of this offer for the wider sector. 

We are inviting up to 100 undergraduate students who identify with a least one of the below indicators take part in this project:  

  • Lower socio-economic (students in receipt of an Access to Exeter Bursary) 
  • BAME 
  • Disabled  
  • Mature 
  • Care leaver   
  • Estranged student 
  • Carers 
  • First generation student 
  • Gypsy, traveller, showmen, boater 
  • Military families 
  • Refugee 
  • Asylum seeker  

Students in these groups likely face barriers (e.g. time availability) that impact their participation in workshops and sessions designed to help them prepare for job interviews. VR may present as a highly accessible alternative and/or complementary preparatory tool for these students.  

We are inviting up to 100 students complete a VR-based job interview training intervention and provide us with their subjective opinions through the completion of questionnaires and their attendance at focus groups. 

The training will take place in small groups (up to four students) and includes: 

  1. Introductory Familiarisation workshop. These will be self-bookable via Handshake and will also take place as part of a 'roadshow' with The Students' Guild Societies. If you're society is interested in getting involved and hosting a VR session, please contact Rachel
  2. Individual VR training session on interview skills (~60 minutes) 
  3. Focus group (60 minutes) 

All participants will complete anonymous questionnaires about their experiences of using VR, interviews and the project. 

Participants who complete the individual training and the questionnaires will be remunerated via a gift voucher.

Participants who complete all elements of the project can also receive an endorsement on Linkedin, reflecting their participation in a research project for the Career Zone.  

The first step is to complete this expression of interest form. Societies can contact Rachel Sloan directly,, to arrange a workshop bespoke to their society and introduce the project. 

The project team will then get in touch with an online consent form, which you will need to read and sign and return to the project team.  

Once you have done this, you will receive a unique Participant Information Number and will be officially enrolled onto the study (note you can withdraw at any time, more information can be found in the consent form).Your data will be anonymised and you will not be identifiable as part of this research project 

You will then be able to sign up to attend the VR-project training and then able to book times to complete the Interview and Presentation Skills VR sessions.    

  • This project has been approved by the University of Exeter’s Ethics Board.  

Contact details

If you have any questions about the project, you can contact the team via:

Societies (Streatham) who would like to arrange a familiarisation session and involve their members in the project are welcome to contct Rachel Sloan directly,