In many institutional settings in today's globalized job market, people have to deal with different role asymmetries in the co-construction of meaning. In this study, institutional, cultural and linguistic asymmetries are focused on in interviews at an employment agency in Sweden. Interviews between a recruiter and fourteen female job candidates with an academic background from other countries were video taped. Three sequences on personality were analysed: What do you consider to be your strengths? What personal characteristics do you want to improve? and What has made an impact on you? The general aim of the study was to gain knowledge of the processes whereby self-presentations are co-constructed and how participants try to reach common understanding when they do not share common linguistic and cultural resources. Theoretically, the study has a dialogical framework. Discourse is seen as the place where society, culture, situation, individual and language meet and where meaning is constructed through social action. Within an interactional sociolinguistics framework, an holistic approach to methods combines ethnography of communication with ethnomethodology and conversation analysis.