A questionnaire was distributed to the 16 directors of psychiatry residency programs and to 199 psychiatry residents in Canada. Both groups were asked to assess the importance of 32 criteria for selecting residents on a scale of 1 to 5, and to rank order 8 selection criteria. Our results confirmed previous investigators' findings that the personal interview and letters of recommendation are the most valued tools. Yet neither have been demonstrated to have predictive value. This lack of predictive value is discussed in the context of research into improving resident selection techniques. A multi-centre study of resident selection is proposed.