Moderators are not selected because they are domain experts in certain tags, but it so happens that you are an expert in one such tag. You see that several members of the community have elected to close a question as a duplicate, but you see that the duplicates don't actually answer the question as stated, nor do they provide a useful signpost for the asker. How do you proceed?
I would reopen the question, assuming that the "several members" didn't also include another domain expert. I believe the default should be "open" for questions where it is unclear if they should be open or closed; closing questions means we forever lose some answers, while an open question that should be closed does less harm (in most cases). I would then also mention in a comment my reasoning, and if there was good argument for closing it again happily do so.
If I believed it to be controversial, I would mention this to the other moderators in a private chat, to see what their thoughts were; but most close-as-dup issues are not truly controversial.
In your opinion, what is the biggest problem/challenge Sports Stack Exchange is currently facing? How would you propose to solve it?
Activity levels as low as this lead to less engagement and worse questions (and answers). I think this is not perfectly solvable, but to the extent we can, we should keep the quality levels high; that way if a question is asked and gets an answer, it gets a good one. I would love to help encourage additional activity, though I won't claim to be an expert on how to do so.
Activity on Sports seems to decline as of late; if you were elected, what would you try to do about this? Or do you feel this isn't the job of a ♦ moderator at all?
Same as above; I don't have any particular ideas right now, beyond maintaining high quality questions and answers, but would support (actively) any ideas others had, to the extent I can. As for being the job of a ♦ moderator; I don't think it is specifically the job of a ♦ moderator, but rather is the job of anyone on the site, but a ♦ moderator should at minimum lead by example, and should assist in any way feasible when someone (♦ or not) has an idea.
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?
If there was an issue with the tone of their answers that generated that stream, and it was up to me to handle after discussion with the other mods, I would bring it up in a private chat with them, mentioning to them that it seemed their tone was a bit aggressive (or whatever). We've had people on this site before with that issue, though, and I don't think it's truly a problem here; they tend to soften over time as they adapt to the tone of the community.
If they continue using an inappropriate tone, then (after discussion with the mod team, and possibly with a CM) I would support suspending them to make it clear that they need to change. Again, I think this is unlikely to be needed - I've not seen this anyway here - but if it came to that, it's the right choice.
How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?
It's best when moderators speak with one voice. As such, I'd bring this up in a private chat with the other moderators, and mention my reasons. If they disagree, then I'd leave it at that; if I can convince them, then great - we'd reopen it. Nothing here is life or death, after all; on Parenting I've been on both sides of the coin here, and the world didn't end in either case.
In your opinion, what do moderators do?
♦ Moderators on any site are the second line of defense of the quality of the site. The community is the first line; your flags and edits are always going to be the first thing that happens to most posts. ♦ Moderators also serve to settle disputes between community members, and help guide the community towards the goals the community chooses. They don't set policy, but they help enforce it - even if it's not what they personally would choose.
On a less active site, a ♦ Moderator has more to do on the first line, because questions often can't accrue five close votes, three delete votes, etc.; instead, a ♦ Moderator will end up closing it. Reviewing the regular queues is critical on a less active site, as a result, to make sure anything that one community member is concerned about is addressed.
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 carried myself in a way that I hope reflects positively on myself and anything I'm associated with; I see no reason for this to matter in my case. Not that I mean that everyone likes everything I say, or even how I say it; that's never going to be true of anyone. But I'm comfortable that I've always had good intentions, and if anyone finds something they feel is inappropriate, I'd be happy to either fix it or explain why I feel it's appropriate.
In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?
It allows me to instant-close questions and instant-delete questions, for the most part. I'm not particularly active on Sports.SE right now, but I would be more so as a moderator; that was also the case with Parenting, before I was a moderator I checked the site once a week perhaps, while as a moderator it was multiple times per day. Part of the job. So I suppose, the way I'd be more effective would simply be that I'd look at every question!
Sports SE has comparatively few users with higher privileges (only 16 users > 5K, only 40 users > 2K, out of ~650 users > 2H and ~12000 users total).
This can sometimes mean questions aren't closed, answers aren't deleted, or other key site actions that should be managed by the community don't occur.
Please outline your expectation for taking binding moderator actions in such cases, versus waiting for the community to perform these tasks.
The reason for having ♦ Moderators is, in part, to allow us to cast those binding votes. I would not be shy in doing so; it's a disservice to the community to not use them. I'd be careful in questions that are not clearly off topic/etc., though; as stated above, my preference is to leave things open if they're not doing active harm and they're not clearly off topic (or duplicate or whatnot). Typically on Parenting I hold off on closing maybe-off-topic questions until they have 2 or 3 votes, particularly votes from at least 2 of the more active members; I don't require my vote to be the 5th, though.
Deleting bad answers I'd probably be even more likely to be proactive on, so long as they're clearly bad, and have negative votes from the community (the one exception there being on HNQs, where sometimes bad answers get positive votes from drive-by voting).
There is a high-rep user who is very active on the site, but frequently uses strong language which violates the Code of Conduct in their comments. When you warned them, they replied stating that the questions are of low quality which is why they left those comments. They also threatened to quit the site. Despite the warning, they continue to post similar comments. What steps, if any, will you take in order to address this situation? What if the comments were on Meta instead of main? Does that change your approach at all?
This is definitely something to take to the moderators as a group; but it probably would involve that user being suspended, if they refused to change. High rep or activity does not mean anything in my opinion here; if someone is being a jerk, then they're being a jerk, and we're better off without them if they won't change.
I do think though that usually people will change, given enough prodding. Most people aren't entirely mean-spirited; they either don't understand they're coming across as rude, or they're not tempering their voice for the situation. Both of those can be changed by someone willing to change, and I think most people are - sometimes a short suspension is all it takes to make it clear that it's needed.