In connection with the moderator elections, 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.

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:

  • During the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, November 16th 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.

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

  • At the end of the 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. We reserve some editorial control in the selection of the questions and may opt not to select a question that is tangential or irrelevant to moderation or the election. That said, if I have concerns about any questions in this fashion, I will be sure to point this out in comments before the decision making time.

  • Once questions have been selected, a new question will be opened to host the actual questionnaire for the candidates, 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 new process, feel free to post as a comment here.

9 Answers 9


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?

What criteria do or would you use to determine when an analysis question is too basic and/or specific and should be closed? For example, what reasons would you give for leaving this question open and closing this question?

  • Nice! However maybe choosing more border-line questions may yield betters answers from candidates, here it's pretty much evident the second one deserves to be closed :) Nov 10, 2015 at 8:08
  • Well it took me a while to find one closed for being too basic and specific. Maybe someone with better search skills could find more borderline examples. I hope even the more clear-cut cases provide context for answers. Nov 10, 2015 at 11:55
  • Oh, I see what you mean. Yes, of course having a description of how they would act in those cases is relevant. Nov 10, 2015 at 19:59
  • The "correct" answer to this question is, for borderline questions, to not close them. The community can decide via votes, and a mod should only step in if the community keeps oscilliating or arguing -- and generally decide in favor of the poster in that case. As for these specific examples, I think the outcome very clearly matches the wording of the close reason and not much interpretation was required.
    – user28
    Nov 10, 2015 at 22:11
  • @MatthewRead If you nominate yourself and this is one of the questions that is asked, you can provide that excellent answer! ;-) Nov 10, 2015 at 22:13
  • 2
    @ToddWilcox I appreciate your support, I will consider it more strongly.
    – user28
    Nov 10, 2015 at 22:17

How do you plan to respond to a 'This is not an answer' flag on a post of a topic you are not familiar with?

  • This is a good question. Answering it requires moderation-specific knowledge more than anything else.
    – user28
    Nov 10, 2015 at 22:31
  • I would add the duplicate flags as well to the list. Nov 11, 2015 at 18:37

For people that are already moderating other SE sites:

  • How can you be sure that you will have time to moderate all of them? This SE site is currently growing and needs more moderation than before.

For people that aren't moderating any other SE sites:

  • Do you have any experience moderating a community?
  • I would note here that the moderator load is still very low. Currently it could easily be handled by a single moderator, assuming no "off days" (which of course is not typical, and part of why we have 3!).
    – user28
    Nov 10, 2015 at 22:06
  • @MatthewRead agreed with that. The load is low and the community helps around a lot. But (hopefully) the load will be bigger as time passes and there will be need of more mods Nov 10, 2015 at 22:31
  • I actually think I have a very good answer to this, developed from the wide variety of sites I mod. Not going to write it here on my mobile though :-) later
    – Doktor Mayhem Mod
    Nov 11, 2015 at 10:47

How do you plan to handle a situation where a (normal-avid) user of the site is dissatisfied with your moderation?


I hope a two-parter is ok:

What one thing do you most wish were different about how Stack Exchange sites work (i.e., what feature would you add, remove, change, etc.)?

What one feature or capability would you most like to have for Music: Practice & Theory specifically?


What times of the day will you be most active?

(kind of depends on what timezone each candidate lives in)


How much time of your day are you willing to spend on your moderators duties?


Whilst Music Practice and Music Fans have different points of focus, there is an area of overlap between the two sites.

How do you think this overlap should be handled? With regards to questions that fall into this grey area - although may be 'more suited' to one site or the other.


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