1. Repeat: They're on my side.
Whatever your fears may be, know that interviewers want you to succeed. The interview process is time-consuming and expensive, and the company needed you yesterday. Repeat when anxious: The interviewers are on my side.
2. Sound like a local, not a tourist.
When you research an opportunity, dissect the job description and the company's web content. Then, incorporate this language into your answers. How do your experiences and abilities speak to the job description and its lingo? Your answers will be more persuasive if you sound like a "local" in the company, not a tourist in a strange land.
3. Why this job? = Do you care?
Every interviewer eventually asks, "Why do you want to work here?" Translation: Do you know enough about this company and care about what we're doing? Candidates who understand the company's history, values, mission, culture, products and recent news give the most compelling answers.
4. Scout the office.
Before you show up for an interview, scout the physical environment. Drive the neighborhood or walk the corporate campus. How do people dress -- casually or formally? How do you get to the right reception desk? How long will it take to walk from your car or public transit? Calculate when you need to depart for the interview to be at least 30 minutes early, just in case.
5. Get intel on the interview room.
Ask your contact about the interview setting. Is there a whiteboard? You might plan to diagram an idea from your latest research, or the interviewers might ask you to show your logic on the board. Maybe you'll have to present a marketing portfolio, do a coding exercise or show your Github. Know what computing resources are available and bring backup cables, a USB stick and cloud-based copies to cover every contingency.
6. Prep your body.
Physically prepare to be alert and confident. I used to ask for interviews at 10 a.m. so that I could get in a morning run. The endorphins boost me up. Exercise, the right time of a day, a good night's sleep and a tested pre-interview meal make a difference. Many women feel more confident wearing high heels. Maybe a haircut or a new shirt tells your body to be poised and calm.
7. Build rapport.
Find out who will be conducting the interview so that you can build rapport. Examine their web presence for commonalities. Do you share a hobby, alma mater, hometown, college major or favorite sports team? Those connections foster cultural affinity between you and the interviewers. By the way, the interviewers will research you too, so clean up your online portfolio and social profiles (preferably before you apply for jobs!).
8. Who are you on the worst days?
Interviewers assume you can do competent work on an ideal day (or they wouldn't have offered the interview). What about in the most stressful and difficult moments? Talk about times you messed up or confronted great challenges yet came out as winner. Companies don't want perfect employees -- they want resilient workers who fail fast, learn and adapt. Be the person a company needs in difficult moments.