How did your interview go? Have you gotten a job yet? I completely understand how you feel. I was out of work off and on for months and have quit several jobs because of my anxiety. First off, I know this will sound easy to say, but I found that it's better to get out of the house at least once a day - even just for a walk, or a small trip to the store, if possible - or even to the library (check out some anxiety books while there). Getting out each day, slowly, may help rather than starting a job, everything happening all at once. Maybe even starta job part time, so it also isn't so overwhelming.
Second, no words can express how terrifying panic attacks are. Every time I have one, I try and tell myself it's a panic attack, and like you, try to calm myself down. It's the most difficult thing to understand and deal with. I just started back to work and have had a REALLY trying few weeks. Luckily I am in a situation where I can take a break and go hide in the stairwell and cry until my anxiety passes. I only work with about three people and one is my husband. Working with him and having a cool boss has saved my life and my finances. I'd just be honest with your employer and tell them what's going on. I think once you are out there and make it through the day, you'll start to feel so rewarded and slowly feel better about yourself. Some days I want to leave and run home, but I let the panic attack pass and stick through it. You can, too! Just try to find out what would cause you to panic while at work and try and avoid it. I do better being up and being able to walk around (and not be confined to a register or a desk where I can't get up and leave if I have to). Then just take it one day, or even on hour, at a time.
In case you are wondering, too, I just started taking Lexapro, which is a REALLY difficult thing to do, also - start a new med AND go to work. The side effect haven't been too bad, but I'd rather not deal with it, especially at work. I also take klonopin. Sometimes my anxiety is so over-powering, even the klonopin doesn't work. I'm beginning to think that some people just need something additional than meds, like the wonderful links that were posted. I went to the library and checked out some bird sounds, relaxation sounds, sounds of nature, etc. I also have an mp3 player that I can listen to at work. I put videos on it, audio books, music... and it helps SO much. It distracts me from the panic and I can still focus on my work.
I'm sorry you are having such trouble. I'm lucky to have family that "deals" with me and tries to understand. And I'm lucky to have a good doctor who understands, too. I hope you have the support you need to get through this horrible time. But you can do it! TRUST ME, if I can do, you can do it. I totally know how you feel and you CAN make it! At least try! It never hurts to try!