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A Pro Tempore Moderator election was just announced:

The guidelines for such an election state:

For these elections, the candidate questionnaire is an optional feature that individual sites can choose if they want (example here). If sites choose not to have a questionnaire, we encourage voters to ask their questions on the site's meta use the and tags. Moderator candidates should monitor meta for these questions.

What is everyone's opinion in having a questionnaire? If you have a quesiton idea add it to this post.

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  • $\begingroup$ Great idea! I might suggest adding new questions in new answers though to allow community to vote on them? Not sure, just musing. $\endgroup$ – anonymous2 Apr 28 '20 at 20:43
  • $\begingroup$ @anonymous2 ok, sure will do $\endgroup$ – Xnero Apr 28 '20 at 20:47
  • $\begingroup$ @anonymous2 see here: drones.meta.stackexchange.com/q/116/149 $\endgroup$ – Xnero Apr 28 '20 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ Has a final decision been made yet as to whether or not we are doing a questionnaire? $\endgroup$ – Jacob B May 16 '20 at 0:34
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    $\begingroup$ @JacobB There is no ‘official’ decision but most likely a questionnaire will be made available for candidates to answer $\endgroup$ – Xnero May 16 '20 at 0:36
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In my opinion, yes we should have a questionnaire. These are a good way to see how potential moderators will moderate the community. This also gives us a chance to compare the moderation style of different users.

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We have an answer suggesting that we should have a questionnaire for the Pro-Tempore Moderator election. If I may, I will offer a counter-argument, and suggest that we should rather just ask candidates to write a brief statement saying what they think that they bring to the role.


As stated in the other answer, the reason that a questionnaire might be useful is that is may give us a chance to compare the moderation styles of different users. This matters mainly because the SE Theory of Moderation offers fairly broad guidance, but is open to a range of interpretations.

Some sites like moderators to be relatively interventionist, as suggested by this post on Meta:SE on the subject of when moderators should use their 'super-votes'. Other sites (like History:SE, where I am currently a Pro-Tempore Moderator) prefer mods to take a lighter touch, and (to quote the Theory of Moderation):

"... do as little as possible."

SE sites are, after all, community moderated.


However, the real problem with questionnaires is that they can become quite long and (perhaps) tedious to read through all the responses if we get multiple nominations for moderators. Answers can sometimes also often become rather 'formulaic', just following what has been posted by previous answers.

So, maybe, just asking candidates to write a (brief) answer saying things like what times of day they are likely to be active on the site, and what they hope to bring to the role might be a better approach than a formal questionnaire?

We could certainly have a short list of bullet-points that we ask candidates to cover in their answers, but (personally) I think we should keep that list as short as possible.

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  • $\begingroup$ To clarify: the "brief statement about what they bring to the role" is actually something that the candidates will need to provide along with their nomination (see here for example), even if y'all end up skipping the questionnaire. $\endgroup$ – JNat Apr 29 '20 at 10:43
  • $\begingroup$ @JNat And will they need to provide the statement in addition to the questionnaire if we go down that route? $\endgroup$ – sempaiscuba Apr 29 '20 at 10:46
  • $\begingroup$ The statement is mandatory — any candidate needs to submit it along with their actual nomination. Answering the questionnaire (when it exists) is more like "extra credit:" it is not mandatory, but it provides the candidates with more opportunities to answer the actual questions the community they want to represent and moderate wants to see answered. $\endgroup$ – JNat Apr 29 '20 at 10:52

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