As the interview progresses, many employers may request a list of your references. You should try to develop a list of five or six references, although you may use only two or three of them in any one situation. These might be former managers, professors, colleagues, or people who know you through community service. Try to develop a list that can provide various perspectives on your accomplishments and remember that what hiring managers are trying to assess is how you will perform and behave on the job.
It's a good idea to begin, early in your job search, by asking potential references for permission to give their names. If they grant it, express your appreciation, offer to send them your resume and, if possible, meet with them or discuss your job search strategy with them by phone.