I have been a pro-tem moderator here since 2014, and I also moderate a few other Stack Exchange sites, both small and large. My focus here has been on supporting growth, and rapidly removing off-topic content of the sort that can derail smaller sites through reducing quality.
I'm in the UK, which is often a good timezone balance, as I tend to mod first thing in the morning, at lunch and in the evening.
- 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?
First I would comment to ask them not to show that sort of behaviour, as it can negatively impact the site as a whole by driving away other contributors, I would clean up the offending comments as needed. If that didn't work, a short suspension would usually do the trick, but if the behaviour was extreme and there was no improvement, those suspensions can be lengthened as needed,
- How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?
Mods discuss decisions. With other site mods, and with the wider mod population. We shouldn't take these things personally, so we try for consensus.
- In your opinion, what do moderators do?
We don't do anything very special - it's just a small level over what you all contribute to here. We do the moderation that either can't be done by the community, or that may take too long (eg we can remove spammers or trolls immediately, whereas members of the community need to vote to remove), we mediate as needed, and we spend a lot of time cleaning up - which is where the community really defines our work, through flagging posts that need our attention. We also are a route to change - if you want a scope change, the usual route is to create a meta post describing it, the community votes, and the mods support the scope change, through moderation, but also in editing site guidance etc.
- 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?
This will really be no change for me. I am an elected mod on a few sites, and a pro-tem mod on others, so I know some folks will take frustration out on me as one of the faces of the site. It comes with the role.
- In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?
The only difference is in immediacy, only needing 1 vote to close or open, and accessibility to a small handful of extra tools to help keep things running smoothly. Other than that it doesn't change the way I approach review queues, editing or voting.
- If you make a ruling (e.g., closure) and a cogent argument is presented against your ruling by one or a very few users, will you tend to reverse your ruling, or will you (a) insist on many users making the argument, and/or (b) think you know best anyway?
One of the good things is the community can continue to develop the scope of the site - if I close a question, or think something is out of scope, I'm absolutely open to the community telling me I'm an idiot. I will have taken action based on my interpretation of scope, but as with the previous question, if the community prefers a different interpretation or scope, then discussion can bring that to a positive conclusion. Mods are not here to define the community, we are to support the community definition.