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Who gets to pass? Majority and minority background candidates in job interviews (completed)


Veronica Pajaro.

Photo: Nadia Frantsen.

About the project

The project studies how minority and majority background candidates negotiate professional, situated identities in job interviews in order to get to ‘pass’ (Goffman, 1963) as employable medical doctors. I take an interactional perspective on the interviews, combining an interactional sociolinguistic approach with research tools from conversation analysis. The focus of the analyses is placed on speakers' work at managing information on the candidates’ background, education, and work experience in order to make it relevant to the context of the job interview, with self-presentation and information management as central to the analyses.

The main datum for the project consists of a corpus of 147 video-recorded, authentic job interviews for medical intern positions at a Norwegian hospital. This interactional focus is complemented with a contextualizing analytical perspective that takes into consideration the recruitment process as a larger whole. Along with the interviews, I gathered the CVs, cover letters, and job announcements used during the four recruitment rounds observed. The data were gathered over a period of one and a half years.



April 2012–May 2017


Faculty of Humanities, University of Oslo

Published Dec. 8, 2013 10:45 PM - Last modified Apr. 21, 2020 10:26 AM


Veronica Pajaro

(+47) 22854740