Seasoned Advice is scheduled for an election next week, February 12th. In connection with that, we will be holding a Q&A with the candidates. This will be an opportunity for members of the community to pose questions to the candidates on the topic of moderation. Participation is completely voluntary.

Unlike last time, we're hosting the question collection a week in advance, so that not only can folks start prepping questions in advance, but also potential candidates can think about nominating themselves and seeing the questions they'll have an opening to answer.

The purpose of this thread was to collect questions for the questionnaire. The questionnaire is now live, and you may find it here.

Here's how it'll work:

  • Until the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, February 12th at 20:00:00Z UTC, or 3:00 pm EST on the same day, give or take time to arrive for closure), this question will be open to collect potential questions from the users of the site. Post answers to this question containing any questions you would like to ask the candidates. Please only post one question per answer.

  • We, the Community Team, will be providing a small selection of generic questions. The first two will be guaranteed to be included, the latter ones are if the community doesn't supply enough questions. This will be done in a single post, unlike the prior instruction.

  • If your question contains a link, please use the syntax of [text](link), as that will make it easier for transcribing for the finished questionnaire.

  • This is a perfect opportunity to voice questions that are specific to your community and issues that you are running into at currently.

  • At the start of the nomination phase, the Community Team will select up to 8 of the top voted questions submitted by the community provided in this thread, to use in addition to the aforementioned 2 guaranteed questions.

  • Once questions have been selected, a new question will be opened to host the actual questionnaire for the candidates, typically containing 10 questions in total.

  • This is not the only option that users have for gathering information on candidates. As a community, you are still free to, for example, hold a live chat session with your candidates to ask further questions, or perhaps clarifications from what is provided in the Q&A.

If you have any questions or feedback about this process, feel free to post as a comment here.

  • Why the election? Are any of the current moderators coming off? – paparazzo Feb 8 at 9:40
  • 1
    @Paparazzi Sites generally have three minimum. We currently only have two. – Catija Feb 8 at 19:13
  • To add a bit, we don't have a high workload, so we generally do okay with just two of us, but it's really easy to end up with both of us busy/gone for a couple days or more. A third mod makes that far less likely. – Cascabel Feb 9 at 1:50
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    FWIW, I am planning on coming back as a moderator soon, so we will have four moderators then. – Jolenealaska Feb 9 at 6:17

This is an old site with pretty well-established policies about a variety of things both site-specific and network-wide.

Do you feel yourself to be familiar with the site policies?

  • If so, do you generally agree with them? If there are policies you disagree with, how would you act on this if called to handle a situation where you disagreed with the standard practice?
  • If not, how will you become familiar with the policy? Do you think you can moderate effectively without this knowledge from the start? Why or why not?

Becoming a moderator means more often being the bearer of "bad news" (e.g. question closure or post/comment deletion), which can lead to more friction with users. How do you feel about taking on this role, and how would you deal with it?

What spices or herbs do you use most often?

  • Note: obviously we don't want all the questions to be like this, but I do feel that it's nice to give folks a chance to talk in some way about their connection to the site's subject. Mods aren't just no-fun rule enforcers :) – Cascabel Feb 6 at 21:49

As a moderator, sometimes you end up dealing with folks who're less than nice. How would you deal with folks who're clearly trying to rile you up either in comments, mod messages or chat?

Why do you want to be a moderator?

I am a mod on another SE site, we mainly use blenders there, so I know what us mods do. I want to know why you want to be a mod. (No, the hat is not a good reason.)

  • 3
    The hat is the best reason. – Catija Feb 8 at 19:12
  • The ability to summon and wield lightning is the best reason. – Cascabel Feb 8 at 20:49
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    I don't know how you two ever became mods, remember we are so posted to hate fun. :) – David Feb 8 at 22:15
  • How can you possibly be a mod if you don't have a mod hat... you'd be moderating from the completely wrong frame of reference... it's serious business... not "fun". ;) – Catija Feb 9 at 0:44
  • How can you have any modding if you don't eat your hat? – Tim Post Feb 9 at 15:52
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    @TimPost very few of us have edible hats... cough – Catija Feb 9 at 17:07

Here is a set of general questions, gathered as very common questions asked every election. As mentioned in the instructions, the first two questions are guaranteed to show up in the Q&A, while the others are if there aren't enough questions (or, if you like one enough, you may split it off as a separate answer for review within the community's 8).

  • How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?
  • How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

  • In your opinion, what do moderators do?
  • A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?
  • In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

How would being a moderator change your behavior on the site?

Don’t think just about the fact that the diamond will be attached to all of your posts, but also that some actions like voting to close have stronger effects - aka the “Mod Hammer”.

Do you expect other changes?

Nobody is perfect, we all have our strengths and weaknesses:

What do you think are the fields where you need to improve most and how are you going to do this? Think about knowledge, personal habits, types of contributions etc. and how the site would benefit from it.

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