Most successful online forums enlist the services of a community moderator at some point in their development. The interview to become a moderator may be intense and demanding, which is why we have outlined these online community moderator interview questions.
Your incoming role as a moderator is crucial for the survival and growth of the online community you lead. The group needs to be active and productive. The success of the community you run is directly proportional to your input and dedication.
Which is why you need to be well-armed for the interview and the task ahead. You’ll learn the following essential lessons by the end of this article:
- The interview questions to expect
- Why it is important for the interviewer to ask these questions
- Probable answers you can use
Whether you are an aspiring online community moderator, or an experienced one, these questions will most likely come up during your next interview.
1: Why Are You A Good Fit For The Job?
Quite simply, this question is a variation of these other common interview questions:
- Why do you want this job?
- Why should we hire you?
- What are your strengths?
- What are the best skills for this job, in your opinion?
This is not a trap. I repeat, this is not a trap. Most people think any question that paints them as good and deserving is bait. Contrary to this popular belief, this is your best chance to stand out.
Dig deep for the answer to this question. The risk value still remains. Ensure that your skills are relevant and unique. Generic skills will not cut it. Remember, as a moderator, you will need to employ a special set of values to guide people from different walks of life.
Look at the issue from the interviewer’s point of view. What skills would you want from your community’s moderator? Show the interviewer your willingness to familiarise yourself with the group’s ethos, main themes, and general practices.
Assure the interviewer that you tick all the requirements in the job description. Include how these skills have proven to be successful in the past. Let your passion and drive ooze out of every answer you give.
Cautionary Tip: Don’t oversell yourself. Be realistic. While an online community moderator is expected to be constantly alert, avoid saying things like “I work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” It could be the one bad apple that will spoil the bunch.
2: What Is Your Experience Leading Online Community Forums?
Interviewers love this question. It shows them where you have worked before and the lessons you intend to bring to the moderator position if you are successful.
This question highlights the following aspects of your experience to the interviewer:
- Does your experience match the current job description?
- How extensive is your experience in leading online community forums?
- Has your experience prepared you for this role, and if so, how?
- Applying the knowledge gained from your experience, what would you do differently if hired?
Narrow down your answers to specific instances of you moderating an online community.
Volunteer and reach out to online community founders for a chance to hone your skills.
Experience adds credibility to your qualifications. Exposure to online platforms and understanding the lingua franca used will give you an edge over someone without any professional experience.
Employers will also want to know when and why you left your previous job. While some of this information is normally indicated on the CV, interviewers will repeat some of these questions to get real-time answers, direct from the horse’s mouth. Be ready with the hard truths.
Tips for answering this question:
- Provide only the necessary details
- Include why you loved your previous jobs
- Use statistics and data to quantify your previous achievements
- Reiterate the skills you acquired and used when working previously
- Highlight what lessons you will continue implementing if hired
3: How Do You Handle Negative Comments And Criticism That May Arise In The Online Community?
One troll can utterly derail the whole group’s purpose. A single negative comment can do the same damage in a shorter time. Your prospective employer will want to know how you deal with this sensitive issue.
It is vital that you answer this question adequately. It highlights two important qualities an online community moderator should portray: netiquette and conflict resolution.
Netiquette simply refers to being polite and good-natured on the internet. Conflict resolution means that you can resolve issues between members quickly and effectively.
Online trolls are a natural occurrence in every community. How you deal with them is what sets you apart as an outstanding moderator from a good one. The interviewer will expect you to know what to do in case you are faced with trolls and negativity.
Example of a Plausible Answer:
As a community moderator, I will be constantly aware that negative criticism will always be lurking and that it could be detrimental if not handled swiftly and correctly. The remedy will start with me. My contributions will always be courteous.
If a community member finds any fault with anyone or anything said in the group, I will follow the group’s guidelines and code of conduct. I prefer to approach the issue directly and with a clear head.
They could be right, just that their methods are wrong. I factor that into every conflict resolution process I undertake. The issue should be resolved as amicably as possible.
Give a breakdown of what to do and what not to do regarding online trolls.
As an online community moderator, here’s what I know not to do:
- Insult them
- Play the defensive card
- Give them too much attention
Instead, I should assert the group’s authority by pinning the community guidelines and updating them constantly to reflect any new developments. In my experience with disparaging comments, I have learnt that while some trolls should be ignored, others should be educated on the group’s ethos. Of course, in a straightforward and professional manner.
Pro Tip: Giving a real-life example of a scenario where you successfully dealt with negative criticism is always a bonus.
4: How Do You Increase Web Traffic To Your Community?
Generally, an online community moderator role will not require any academic qualifications. However, some employers will need some proof of higher education in communication or project management.
You will be working in the digital space; therefore, you need to learn and update yourself on trends such as:
- Social media marketing
- Digital marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Graphic design
SEO drives traffic to your website. You will curate interesting and useful community posts to reflect the trending topics and hashtags. Using appropriate keywords related to your content will bring more people to your content. Take a free SEO course to equip you with the necessary skills.
A suitable answer:
Moderating an online community is akin to running a blog. I have to ensure traffic is consistently increasing in value and numbers. This starts with the content I churn out – it has to be search engine optimised and factual. I cannot stress enough how helpful tools like Google Analytics have been.
My social media campaigns have to be compelling. I am also taking a short graphic design course to hone my artistic communication skills. Knowledge is a never-ending learning process, and I have committed myself to pursue it.
5: What Are Your Weaknesses?
No, this is not a trick question. Neither is it a chance to be too humble. The main purpose of this question is to act as an acid test for these other qualities: honesty, and your willingness to improve (and adapt).
The obvious way not to answer this question is unanimously singular. Do not say you don’t have a weakness. It is an instant put-off. The interviewer will view you as a perfectionist and know-it-all.
Your answer should be relevant to the online community moderator position.
An example of such a response would be:
My curiosity has landed me in trouble in the past. However, as a moderator for online communities, I taught myself not to be nosy. People will share as much or as little information as they would like to, and I should neither incite nor berate them.
Now, I wouldn’t say or promote anything in the forum if it gets into people’s business too much. The conversations have to be safe and mature. This has made me very careful to avoid profiling community members in any shape or form.
An online community moderator’s role is tough but rewarding. The skill set required is intensive, but should not discourage you. We have compiled a table to give you a clearer picture of what qualities are required for specific roles:
|Role||Major Skill Required|
|Ensuring a peaceful and productive experience||Ease of interacting with people|
|Defining group boundaries and enforcing community policies||Clarity in communication|
|Filtering inappropriate and unrelated content||Discipline|
|Provide discussion topics||Content creation skills|
|Providing timely feedback||Reactiveness|
|Solving issues in the group||Conflict resolution, problem-solving|
Consider this your comprehensive cheat sheet when preparing for this interview:
- Research widely prior to the interview about possible questions and answers.
- Answer the questions from a trifold perspective: As a moderator, the interviewer, and the online community member.
- Relax. Settle into the interview and answer the questions with confidence and authority. Be you, and thrive.
We are sure your interview will be successful, and you’ll get the job. It’s in the bag already. After you receive the job offer, your next step is to follow up after with an email.
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