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This systematic review aims to evaluate which applicant characteristics available to an otolaryngology selection committee are associated with future performance in residency or practice.PubMed, Scopus, ERIC, Health Business, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, and SocINDEX.Study eligibility was performed by 2 independent investigators in accordance with the PRISMA protocol (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses). Data obtained from each article included research questions, study design, predictors, outcomes, statistical analysis, and results/findings. Study bias was assessed with the Quality in Prognosis Studies tool.The initial search identified 439 abstracts. Six articles fulfilled all inclusion and exclusion criteria. All studies were retrospective cohort studies (level 4). Overall, the studies yielded relatively few criteria that correlated with residency success, with generally conflicting results. Most studies were found to have a high risk of bias.Previous resident selection research has lacked a theoretical background, thus predisposing this work to inconsistent results and high risk of bias. The included studies provide historical insight into the predictors and criteria (eg, outcomes) previously deemed pertinent by the otolaryngology field. Additional research is needed, possibly integrating aspects of personnel selection, to engage in an evidence-based approach to identify highly qualified candidates who will succeed as future otolaryngologists.