I have applied to a graduate program in the US, and a Professor emailed me that he wants to meet on Zoom to talk about my application.

He gave me some dates when he will be available for a Zoom meeting.

How do I politely request that I don't want to meet at late night (Indian time)? Will it be considered rude if I write that I want to meet on a certain date (among the ones he said he would be free), and also specify a time before which I want to meet?

Dear Prof. X,
Thank you for your email. Can we talk sometime Wednesday? Let me know a time that works for you.
​I would prefer not to talk late at night (Indian time). Any time before 2:30 PM, EST works for me.


3 Answers 3


Just stating your preference is polite. Your example works fine. They are likely a busy person but that does not mean your own schedule and preferences should be completely neglected (if it feels like it does, that is a major red flag).

But be ready to offer some concessions. It is not academia-specific, really - just be considerate of others' needs, try to fix these small issues together, and make up for inconveniencing people if you can not help it. One time it is them adjusting their schedule, the other time it is you, that kind of thing.

  • 2
    "it is late for either you or them" I don't think any reasonable person would consider "any time before 14:30" as late.
    – Maeher
    Commented Jan 17, 2022 at 7:31
  • 1
    @Maeher My bad, got confused with time zone names. Amended, thank you.
    – Lodinn
    Commented Jan 17, 2022 at 9:24

Attending interviews from India to the USA is a difficult job. The time zone difference is 10-14 hours depending on the place. Most of the time, your interviews will be after an evening in Indian time because that's the work time in the USA. You can definitely ask him for another time if it's late-night (after midnight) and explain that it might be difficult for you at such time. But agree to attend if they don't have any other time. US professors are extremely busy and most of the time they don't have much flexibility for their own students.


There is nothing unreasonable about your preference here. I would suggest augmenting it by giving some explanation of why you would prefer not to interview late at night ---e.g., you could point out that you will have difficulty performing well due to tiredness late at night. In terms of how to ask for this, I recommend you look at the time conversion and suggest a reasonable range of times that would be mutually convenient. Presumably there is some reasonable cross-over time for the two respective countries where neither person is required to be awake at an unreasonable hour.

  • 13
    Your overthinking it, a request for something so obvious doesn't need justifying. Suggesting times is a good idea though.
    – Clumsy cat
    Commented Jan 17, 2022 at 16:16
  • "I would suggest augmenting it by giving some explanation of why you would prefer not to interview late at night" Please do not do that. Know your audience. If you over-explain such a basic concept, it's going to count as a mark against you. Just ask for the time slots that would work for you. Tell them the time zone you'e in. There is no need to explain yourself anymore than that. Commented Oct 18, 2022 at 21:51

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