As well as drilling a pilot hole, use a little dishwashing detergent
(liquid) or soft soap as a lubricant. The pilot hole is critical.
Sometimes, just a push awl will do the trick, but only in softer woods
-- pine. If you have worries about the depth of the pilot hole, wrap a
piece of masking/painter's tape around the drill bit at the right
depth, and use that as a gauge for the right depth, so you don't got
through the door panel.