PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Ask any employer, and they’ll tell you young people often have a big problem at job interviews.
“They’re first time in a job interview situation. They’re new. They’re nervous. They don’t know how to behave,” says Vera Krofcheck with the 3 Rivers Workforce Investment Board, a non-profit that brings job-seekers together with employers.
Krofcheck says young people need help.
“We saw that there’s a lot of opportunities to maybe help them prepare better,” Krofcheck told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Thursday.
Enter Simcoach Games, a Carnegie Mellon University spin-off in the Strip District that creates video games to enhance learning.
“Video games offer the opportunity for folks to actively learn. It’s all about interactivity,” says Jessica Trybus, founder & CEO of Simcoach Games.
Video games are very popular with young people, so what better way to teach them the social skills needed for that first job?
With the help of 25 high school and college students, that’s exactly what Simcoach Games has launched this week.
“Video games provide a safe place for people to try things,” says Anthony Zabiegalski, a producer at Simcoach Games.
The 24-year-old worked with 15-year-old to 22-year-old interns to develop the games.
There are three of them, one on dressing.
“I can decide whether I want to wear a tuxedo T-shirt to my interview,” adds Zabiegalski.
A second video is on preparing for the interview — like being on time — and a third on the actual interview itself.
“Your character is demonstrating proper behavior,” says Zabiegalski as he operates the game. “He’s sitting up straight, he’s not fidgeting, he’s making proper eye contact.”
But then …
“I’m getting the urge to check my phone, but I can swipe that away.”
Depending on the job seeker’s response and answers to questions, he gets points and learns at the end whether he’s hired or not.
It’s good training before the actual event.
“They’re available on the app store, through google play, and they’re available through amazon,” adds Trybus.
These video games are free.
Just download the app.