Be honest. If you’re looking for a job that’s lower in stress level and easier to manage while you go back to school, then say that.
If you’re applying for a position with a company you would be interested in working for post graduation then explaining that could help as well. “Ultimately, once I finish my degree, I’d love a chance to do X kind of job here, but for right now…”
If you aren’t interested in staying on longer than it takes to finish your program of study, be honest about that. You may get a follow up about how far in the future that is, but if it’s far enough out to pass the company’s reasonable expectation of an employee’s tenure there, there’s no reason not to say this.
Tell the interviewer what you’re looking to get out of the position. Hopefully, there is something you want more than a pay check. If you present yourself in a way that says “I’m just here for the money…” Well, that’s nice. Everyone comes to work for the money. Tell me why else you want to be here, and why else you want to be doing this specific job. Employees who only want a paycheck are hard to keep motivated and engaged because the job is just a paycheck and anyone can give them a paycheck.
There are tons of things we can do to put food on the table and pay the light bill. Tell the interviewer why you have chosen to do this specific job to accomplish those things. If you come off as someone who will “take anything” then don’t expect to go far. But if you have reasons that you feel the job would be good for you and that you would be good for the job, then focus on those positives.
This question originally appeared on Quora: How do I respond when an interviewer tells me I’m overqualified for a job and asks why I want it?