An asker flags their own question and says that they need to delete it because it reveals personal information about them that they don't want to make public any more. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?
I think this question has a slightly different nuance than the equivalent one for StackOverflow, because the ethical and legal arguments for respecting the user's wishes are stronger.
The comments from existing/past moderators make it clear that anonymizing the question is an available option and for me it would at the top of my mind as the likely outcome.
Before asking for that, I'd investigate if the question could be changed to retain its essence but avoid the personal information, perhaps in conjunction with removing the edit history.
In extreme circumstances, if for some reason the question couldn't be properly anonymized even by disassociating it from a user account, I'd reluctantly support its removal, after discussion with the rest of the mod team. I can't really envisage circumstances where a good question with good answers would be in that situation though.
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?
Firstly, I would do my level best to treat each incident in isolation, at least when dealing with that incident. It's very easy to get into a mindset of "oh, XXX again" and assume the worst. It's important for the user to feel they are being treated fairly if at all possible. Of course if they are not at fault in a situation then there's no need to take any action at all.
Secondly, if there was an opportunity to have a quiet chat with the user about their behaviour, I'd do so, hopefully after discussion with the rest of the mod team. I'd try to focus on how their contributions are really valuable but their behaviour is detracting from them.
Thirdly, high-rep users shouldn't get special treatment in how we respond to incidents involving them. If they do post inappropriate material or whatever then it does need to be dealt with. If it happens repeatedly to the point that suspension is an appropriate sanction for any other user, then it should be applied to the high-rep user too.
How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?
Firstly, I'd apply some hysteresis. If another mod made a different decision to the one I'd have made on a borderline issue, it's probably not worth the cost of changing it now even if I'd prefer it to have been done differently in an ideal world.
So I'd reserve any action for significant issues where I think it might really be worth changing that decision, or for where I want a discussion about what should happen if the same issue comes up again.
Next, I'd discuss this with the moderator team as a whole, in private. I'd want to know what the reasoning behind the decision had been and what other moderators thought, if anything. This is a route without much sense of confrontation, I'm sure that most mods would be very happy to discuss their reasoning. I certainly would be.
That might have a few outcomes. The other mod might change their mind, I might change my mind, or the moderator team as a whole might reach a majority view as to the right course of action, that was also acceptable to the minority even if they disagreed with it.
If the right course of action is still not clear, the next place is probably an open discussion on meta, unless it would require disclosing some private information. Even if there is a consensus amongst the moderators it might be worthy of a discussion on meta to see if the community feels the same way or to explain our approach.
The StackExchange team would no doubt be able to help out with really difficult problems, as would looking around at how other sites have handled them or asking on meta.stackexchange.com.
In a really intractable situation where I felt a very important decision had been handled in an unacceptable way and not been reversed after discussion, I might end up resigning. I think it's vanishingly unlikely that this would end up happening in practice.
In your opinion, what do moderators do?
The standard answer to this is "human exception handlers", i.e. deal with the difficult cases that can't be handled by the normal site review processes available to suitably privileged users. For example dealing with drawn-out arguments in comments, users misbehaving, deleting spam.
I also see a role for helping to guide the evolution of the site's policy on meta. This is something that any user can participate in, of course. However the general experience of the community moderators as a whole should be important in helping to inform such discussions.
I also think it's important that moderators get involved in welcoming new users to the site. This is something anyone can do of course, but I think it's a particular responsibility of moderators to help set the tone and generate that kind of atmosphere.
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 think in some cases, when just participating in the site as a normal user, this is a negative thing. I'd rather not have any extra weight attached to my opinions sometimes.
On the other hand I think it's also valuable to have users around who can speak with authority, for example when explaining basic policy points to new users on the site or stepping into protracted arguments that aren't resolving themselves naturally.
I've been in the occasional argument myself on the site - perhaps three or four times in the site's history - and I've hopefully managed to behave reasonably well during them, including stepping away when it was clear it wasn't going anywhere, and flagging for a moderator if necessary. If I were a moderator myself I would be even more careful about getting involved.
I'd also aim to clearly separate expressions of opinion from statements of policy.
In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?
For me the main thing is being able to help share the load of the standard tasks that fall to moderators. The diamond provides an extra stamp to welcoming comments that can hopefully help new users use the site well. Deleting obvious spam as soon as possible would be nice, as would being able to quickly close obviously off-topic questions.
On the other hand, I think I would be more scared to use close votes early on borderline questions. For those I'd prefer to be one of five votes, rather than a single binding vote. Other past moderators and candidates have spoken of this problem too, and I think it's a real problem - but then there are plenty of other people able to cast close votes, so hopefully not too much of one.