The cover letter plays a significant role in the initial assessment of candidates for assistant faculty positions in the Department of Cell Biology at UT Southwestern Medical Center and is used to reduce some of the biases associated with CVs, such as research pedigree or whether candidates have published in brand name journals. In the cover letter, applicants describe the significance of their work and what they envision for their research program. The department then uses short Skype interviews as an intermediate stage and screens as many as 30 individuals. Applicants are asked to prepare answers to two key questions for the Skype interview: 1) Where will your research program be in five years? and 2) How can UT Southwestern help you get there? Having the questions beforehand allows the department to identify more thoughtful candidates in addition to those who can think quickly.