You have researched the company. You know what they do, and that you can contribute in a meaningful way. You have researched, and yes, they have a healthy LGBTQ office culture. The position, title, pay, and benefits all look good. You’ve expressed interest, and they have invited you to come in. Congrats!

Now the part most people hate.

Stress of any kind, from any source, whether it be positive or negative, triggers the same hormonal responses in your body. As I have written in the past (, stress is corrosive to your health and wellness. So it’s important to manage it, especially when the adrenaline is making it hard to swallow. When the butterflies are driving you to distraction, the single best immediate practice to calm yourself is mindful breathing.

Breath is the fundamental pattern. It comes first and foremost before all other needs. And you can use it to your advantage, instantly and in the middle of your job interview. Auditioning for anything, whether it be for a corporation, a dance company, or some other selective organization, means you are being judged and evaluated. That process can be intimidating, and all sorts of doubts might suddenly flood your mind. But remember this: You were invited to come interview, apply, or audition. The organization sees something in you, and you have come prepared.

As you approach the appointment, especially while waiting to be seen, take some time to let go of all the mental and professional preparation. Whatever replies you have rehearsed, you know those as well. Check in with yourself. Sure, taking slow breaths is the simplest method, but that alone might not slow your thoughts and heartbeat. It helps to be concentrated and specific.

Some methods you might try involve time and rhythm, chromatherapy and aromatherapy, and encouraging imagery. These are easy concepts, but you might not have considered them. They are simple to explain, and can help you go into your meeting with a cool sense of calm confidence. They are not medicinal per se, but they serve to help you hone your focus.

Time can be stretched. Be still, and try to feel your heartbeat. Take a breath in for one pulse, hold it one pulse, exhale in one pulse. Next breath is two in, two hold, two release. Then three, four, and all the way up to 10. You will be focusing on the augmenting sense of expansion and patience, and that in and of itself slows your heart. So, actually, each breath will take longer beyond the count of beats, because those beats become slower. By the time you get to 10, you will probably find at the end of the last exhale that you feel rested, alert, and light.

Chromatherapy uses levels and colors of light or pigment to adjust mood. Wear or carry something with a color that makes you feel powerful. It doesn’t have to be obvious to anyone else. It might be a gem stone in your pocket or an accessory in your outfit. Whatever works. As you take your deep breaths, focus on that color. Imagine its energy nourishing you. This is abstract, but it adjusts the inner firing of your neurons and affects your state of mind. If you want a specific suggestion: Red is the color of the root chakra. It’s located underneath you where your bottom touches the chair. It is the chakra of health, wellbeing, safety, and stability. Perhaps you have something red with you that can help you bring your intention to creating the sense of safety that will help you remember how to keep everything in context. For aromatherapy, try dabbing a few drops of lavender essential oil on a handkerchief and breathing purposefully through the material.

And then there is imagery. This is very straightforward. Think of the three best impressions or memories you can remember off the top of your head. Is it a picture of a blooming flower or an interesting building? You appreciate beauty. Maybe the time you scored on something really significant — remember you’re successful. Or are there any encouraging words or people who make you feel appreciated? You circulate wisdom. As you take your breaths, leave all the other thoughts about the interview behind, and dwell only on those specific images that make you happy, or that consistently interrupt emotional funks. I like running through the music video for “Miss You Much,” but you do you.

Your frame of mind is translated into your life experience. I am not a proponent of any concepts about “laws of attraction,” but I do know that thoughts become things. Your thoughts direct your focus and intention, and you can wrangle all this into presenting yourself as you are: A qualified applicant who brings a great deal to the table.