Editor's note: Inc.com columnist Alison Green answers questions about workplace and management issues--everything from how to deal with a micromanaging boss to how to talk to someone on your team about body odor.

Here's a roundup of answers to five questions from readers.

1. Is a really fast interview invitation a red flag?

I'm wondering about really quick interview invitations. I just got one today, which was less than 15 minutes (!) from the time I submitted my application. Am I correct in being put off? I'm increasingly desperate for work but I have to have standards too.

Green responds:
Eh, it's a little odd but not conclusive. Inviting you for an interview 15 minutes after you applied is awfully fast, but who knows, maybe they were in the process of selecting candidates for interview slots and received your application right in the middle of that. Some hiring managers review applications once a day, and if your application came in as they were doing that, this could result. It's certainly surprising speed, but in many cases it only takes a minute or two to decide someone's worth talking to further. You just don't really know.

Talk to them and get more information before you write them off.

The things you should have standards about are things like culture, salary, benefits, management style, and work -- not things like this.

2. I've contacted a company three times and haven't heard back.

I applied for a job that I'm very confident I can do. It's in a creative field, and I believe that applying in this field takes a little more than just emailing over a resume and cover letter. My application was sent by post -- a handmade boxed presentation containing my resume, cover letter, printed samples of my work, and a USB drive with all the documentation digitally.

Three weeks after sending the presentation, I emailed the company to check that the materials were received and to reiterate my passion for the job. More than two weeks have passed since that email, so I called the company. After a quick call where I didn't get the impression the operator understood that I had sent my work by post, she informed me that she will find out who is "dealing with applications" and call me back. It's been three days since that call. 

Should I try and contact the director, whom I know (from extensive research) is the hiring manager and whom I will be working with the most? I honestly think this job is tailored to my skills, passion, and vision and it's remarkable (from my research) how similar the company and I are. The job listing is still up -- it's been up eight weeks so far.

Green responds:

Noooo. You've already reached out three times -- that's two times more than they wanted you to. You also went way above what they asked for in your initial application. If you continue to try to circumvent the process they have set up for accepting and considering applications, you risk turning them off completely.

Frankly, that initial package was a risk on its own. Most employers want applicants to apply online for a reason, and aren't thrilled when applicants sidestep clearly stated application instructions. Continuing to call after that carries a high risk of being labeled a nuisance.

They know that you're interested. At this point, the ball is in their court. If they want to talk with you further, they'll get in touch. Meanwhile, the best thing you can do is to put this job out of your head and move on. Do not contact them again.

3. Employee gave four days notice and wanted to use vacation for part of it.

I'm a manager of a small business with nine employees. One of my staff recently asked for a day off, which I approved. Two days later, she gave notice and told me she was leaving within four business days because the other company was "desperate."

I accepted the resignation but asked that she forgo her vacation day (which she mentioned she was using to hang out around the house) so we could train one of the other staff to do her job while we were trying to find a replacement. Like many small companies, we don't have a ton of overlap among employee responsibilities. The employee was very angry, telling me that she would not have another vacation day for several months.

I'm a pretty seasoned manager and realize this employee could have quit on the spot without notice. But was it wrong of me to rescind her approved leave? I come from the school of thought that you should at least give your employer two weeks notice --
especially if you are asking me to be a reference.

Green responds:

Nope, your request was totally reasonable. The point of the two-week notice convention is to have time to transition your work. Your employee was already violating that by giving only four days notice, and it was entirely reasonable of you to say you'd like her at work all of those four days. In fact, many companies don't let people use vacation time during their last two weeks at all (for exactly this reason -- they want them there to help with the transition). Your employee's expectations are way out of whack with how this stuff works.

4. Employees who constantly say, "On my old team, we did it this way."

I am a new manager. Several of the people on my team keeping saying things like, "On my old team, we did it this way..." or similar things, and they often conflict. All of us were tossed together from all different teams, and while I want to ease the transition to a new team, I am ready for this kind of talk to stop. It's draining for me, and even those who have said it themselves are frustrated by it when someone brings it up. What is the key to creating history together, as a new team? And why do so many people long for their old teams immediately after getting to a new one?

Green responds:

People often like the familiar, and change makes people uneasy -- particularly when it's their work lives that feel unstable, since that's tied into their professional identities and ability to earn a living. So it's not surprising that people are leaning heavily on how things used to work. 

And really, there's value in knowing how people have done things successfully in the past. You don't want your message to be that there's not. But it's reasonable to point out how wearing this particular framing can be, and ask people to be mindful of that. For instance, you could say, "I've realized we're all talking a lot about how our old teams used to do things. There's value in that experience, but in forming a new team, we're going to come up with ways of doing things that might be different. If you have good ideas from how you've done things in the past, or how you've seen them done, I want you to bring them up -- but let's all be mindful that we'll be creating new processes too. Even just saying, 'one way I've seen this done well was X' can have a different feel than a steady stream of 'my old team did X.'"

5. Should I give feedback to an unprofessional job candidate?

I was interviewing for interns this past week and I found a candidate who had decent experience and decided to bring her in for an interview. Once I Googled her, I found that her Twitter feed was full of complaints about how no one would hire her and she couldn't get any experience. I sympathize and I know how hard it can be, which is another reason I wanted to bring her in. Once I did, it became very clear why no one would hire her. She had a very unprofessional and casual vibe during the interview and the phrase "the ultimate goal is to have someone to pay me to lay in my pajamas all day and watch sports" came out of her mouth.

I believe in providing constructive feedback, because I know I would have wanted someone to help me when I was feeling helpless, but I feel like it might be impossible to properly word my advice, which consists mostly of "try acting more professional." Is it worth giving the feedback?

Green responds:

I don't think so. "Be more professional" isn't that helpful; you'd need to go into specifics about exactly what she should be doing differently, and she hasn't shown any signs that she'll handle that feedback maturely. If she asked you for feedback, I'd be more inclined to give some, but proactively offering it to someone who doesn't seem to have done any basic research into how to interview successfully? I don't think it's a good use of your time, and I think it's likely to go unappreciated.

By the way, the Twitter comments were the first sign of unprofessionalism. I'm sympathetic to people who are struggling to get hired too, but good candidates don't typically fill up public social-media accounts with that kind of thing.

Want to submit a question of your own? Send it to alison@askamanager.org.