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As experienced job-seekers (and regular readers at The Workplace) know, an interview is a two-way street. Just as it's important for the community to ask questions of candidates, it's also important for those candidates to have answers about key parts of the job. Sometimes the best answers come from the incumbents rather than the hiring managers (SE). So we're going to presumptuously ask some questions on behalf of candidates known and unknown.

Current moderators (and ex-moderators, if we have any), could you answer the following questions?

  • What do you love about the moderator job on The Workplace?

  • How do you spend your moderation time? Which tasks take the largest amounts of time? And roughly speaking, how much time do you spend on moderation tasks (not counting your "just plain user" time like asking and answering questions)?

  • What have been your biggest challenges as a moderator? Without revealing privileged information, can you talk about how you (personally and collectively) have addressed them?

  • Is there anything you're hoping the new moderators will do or change that you never quite got around to? What's on your "moderator wish list", and why is it important?

  • What advice do you have for somebody considering this job? What are the questions people should be asking but aren't?


This is a repeat from the same question asked back in 2014, asked anew because the site and perspectives might have changed in the five years since our graduation election.

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    I thought you guys had a special chat for the moderator only stuff? – Kilisi Feb 10 at 11:05
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    @Kilisi Yeah, maaaaybe you missed the point a little over there. :P I think the point here is so that mods can provide easily accessible and organized answers to how it's really like, so that possible candidates as well as others know exactly what's going on without speculating stuff like "ah, it must be a heaven over there..." or "jeez no that's pure hell TWP is known for much drama!". – EKons Feb 11 at 21:06
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    @EKons yeah, it was just my lame attempt at some subtle humour :P – Kilisi Feb 13 at 14:37
  • talking about missing it ;) @EKons – DarkCygnus Feb 15 at 19:42
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What do you love about the moderator job on The Workplace?

Much the same as other higher-rep users here on the site, the primary reason to stay and engage is because I love to help the users, and to help the site help the users. Having the extra moderation tools allows me to further help the smooth running of the site.

It's also great to interact with moderators of the other sites, both in the giving and receiving of advice, talking about issues that face us, and sharing doughnuts.

It's a huge honour to be part of the moderation team.

How do you spend your moderation time? Which tasks take the largest amounts of time? And roughly speaking, how much time do you spend on moderation tasks (not counting your "just plain user" time like asking and answering questions)?

It probably takes about half an hour to process flags at the start of a shift (and a huge thanks to all those who raise flags). It takes as long as you need to circle around the site, meta, and the various chatrooms to see if there's anything needing to be caught up with. Dealing with individual users when issues raise does take longer, but that's not an everyday thing.

What have been your biggest challenges as a moderator? Without revealing privileged information, can you talk about how you (personally and collectively) have addressed them?

Dealing with HNQ questions can be a headache, due to the volume of traffic and the need to try and keep the questions and answers coherent and helpful. And there's the need to let people have the freedom to express themselves, but do so in a respectful, courteous manner as much as possible.

Is there anything you're hoping the new moderators will do or change that you never quite got around to? What's on your "moderator wish list", and why is it important?

Taking a look at tags might be pretty good. It's something that gets talked about but never really happens.

What advice do you have for somebody considering this job? What are the questions people should be asking but aren't?

You're going to get told what people don't like about your actions more than you get told that you're doing things right (even if you're doing it for the right reasons).

On the plus side, you'll get a lot of support, the moderation team here is fantastic (Monica is a great mentor and continues to be an incredible team leader). You'll also get access to the other moderators across the sites, who are also a great resource.

I'll add more to this answer as time passes (and if there's more questions), this is just my first draft.

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