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?
The specifics would depend on the exact nature of the flags/arguments.. But say for example the cause of the friction appears to originate as some kind of deliberate provocation in the answers, then my first step would be to contact the user and ask why they are doing this.
Depending on their reasons, I might explain that their contributions to the site are appreciated, but this behavior isn't acceptable on blender.stackexchange.
If the behavior persists, I'd probably consult another moderator and suggest a time out.
Of course, this is assuming a lot about the situation. In a real situation I'd want to know a lot more about what is going on before taking such drastic action as a ban.
How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?
I would contact the moderator in chat and ask why they took the action they did.
After listening to their reasoning, if I'm not satisfied, I would explain why I think their action was unjustified.
If they still disagree, then I would consult another moderator and see if we can come to an agreement between the three of us.
Following directions, working together and abiding by site policy are all important. How well do you follow directions?
I feel I'm good at following directions. But really, the people giving the directions are much more qualified to answer that ;)
What important contributions or actions have you not been able to do that moderator-ship will allow you to perform? (besides banning trouble users)
I see uses for "special" moderator-only tools quite often. For example I regularly see new users without the "comment anywhere"
privilege writing their comments in answers. These usually get downvoted, which can be discouraging for new users writing what would otherwise be a perfectly good comment.
As a moderator I'd be able to convert these as soon as I see them.
How much time can you currently commit, and are there other things that may come up in future that will limit your availability (i.e. intensive college or other studies, heavy workload)? This is important as the whole point of being a moderator is to care for and direct the site.
Currently I'm a little busier than normal, but I'll be around keeping an eye on reviews, flags, and question activity. A ping in the chat should reach me at almost any time.
If any unforeseen schedule problems crop up, I'll still try to keep an eye on reviews and flags at least.
How would you treat duplicate answers or answers in comments then posted as an answer later by a different user? This happens fairly frequently if there is a question that is somewhat vague, someone will post a potential answer in the comments, and then will have to leave. Several hours later, the OP will respond, and someone else will add the answer. How would you handle this situation?
I would leave duplicate answers alone unless the duplicate is essentially a verbatim copy of the first answer, or very low quality, in which case it will be treated as such.
As noted in a discussion about this very thing on meta, knowing the answer is only half of answering. You also must communicate it, and sometimes having different explanations from different people can throw a fresh light on an answer.
Regarding the exact scenario you describe,
I'd leave a comment on the answer explaining that another user had already recommended this in a comment and
suggest that in the future the answerer check to see if they would like to answer first.
I'd also encourage the original commenter add another answer to explain the answer in their own way.
In your opinion, what do moderators do?
I agree with SE's theory of moderation after seeing it applied in practice on this site. There is little I can say that hasn't already been said there, but to briefly describe my own words:
On SE there is little difference between moderators and high-rep users who actively participate in moderator activities such as reviewing and closing questions.
The purpose of a moderator is to handle (hopefully uncommon) situations which cannot be handled by such users, though there is no reason a user who is a moderator can't also be one of those users at the same time.
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?
I've always tried to comment and write in what I think is a "moderator-like" fashion, but now more than ever I will try to set a good example and explain my actions.
If anything the diamond will encourage me in this regard, as I too will be able to see what my words look like next to a ♦.
In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?
I really feel like the answer to this is the same as the fourth question.. But in the spirit of duplicate questions, not duplicate answers, I'll try to come up with another answer..
One action which I thought seemed overly difficult to do as a high-rep user is suggesting tag synonyms, though because of the broad effect this action can have (I imagine that moderators merge tags directly and don't go through the suggestion process?) I'd likely ask at least another moderator first.
Being able to see flags again and go straight to spots which need attention will obviously help a lot.