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Game Based Assessments vs Interviews: Interview Anxiety and Performance Among Individuals with and without ASD

Project end date: March 30, 2024

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Yumna Najam Ahmed is an MSc student engaged in a research project overseen by Dr. Nicolas Roulin from the Department of Psychology at Saint Mary’s University. The project forms part of her MSc thesis and is backed by a SSHRC Insight Grant (#435-2021-1115). The purpose of the study is to gain insight into the performance of job applicants during online selection processes, such as virtual interviews and game-based assessments (GBA), and to ascertain the influence these processes have on hiring decisions. Of specific interest is the role that anxiety might play in affecting the performance of interviewees and GBA participants, particularly concerning individuals with and without autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Participants in the study are expected to envision themselves as job applicants who are interested in a position for which they have been invited to engage in three evaluation components of a simulated hiring process. The study consists of three parts:

1. The first part involves completing an asynchronous video interview (AVI), where participants must video-record their answers to questions using a webcam. Directly after the interview, they will be asked to provide feedback on their emotional state during the interview and on their conduct.

2. The second part requires scheduling and carrying out a live online video-conference interview (VCI) via Microsoft Teams or Zoom, where participants will use their webcams to respond to interview questions. Similar to the first part, they will be prompted to share their feelings and behavior immediately following the interview.

3. The final part invites participants to complete a Game Based Assessment (GBA) through an online game called OWIWI. This part involves gameplay and decision-making, after which individuals will again give feedback on their emotional experience during the assessment and on their actions.

To fulfill the requirements, participants need to use a laptop or tablet equipped with a webcam (smartphones are not acceptable) for parts one and two. They should access the first part using Chrome, Firefox, or MS Edge as a web browser (excluding Safari) and carry out the study in a quiet setting.

 Time commitment and compensation:

– The entire study is expected to take approximately 90 minutes, with 30 minutes allocated for each of the three parts.

Participants will receive compensation in the form of CAD $10 for each part they complete, making up a total of CAD $30. If participants do not complete the study online or if they do not approach the tasks with due seriousness, they will be eligible only for a partial payment of CAD $5 for each respective part. Participants need to provide an email address at each stage so that their involvement can be tracked and their compensation appropriately dispensed via e-transfer upon completion.


– The study is open to all individuals, including those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
– Eligible participants must be residing in Canada, fluent in English, and at least 18 years old.
– They must not have any other mental health diagnoses that might impair daily functioning and task completion.