I have a technical interview coming up and I was wondering if it's appropriate to ask whether I need to prepare for any particular area or if it's is going to be a general tech interview. The job description just says Software Internship.
TLDR: I always ask, usually with pretty good results.
First of all, I firmly believe that you should act as naturally as possible when dealing with recruiters/companies you're applying to. I believe this because if you make a request as reasonable as the one you're pondering now and they lash out it is a clear indicator that you don't want to have anything to do with them.
As another example (it doesn't really answer your question specifically, but I think it helps bring the point home) I always go to interviews wearing jeans and a t-shirt. I've had many people warn me against it, as first impressions matter, etc but I still do it. Why? Because if they don't give me the job because of what I was wearing I don't want to work with them anyway. If they dismiss me because I was a bad candidate, the outfit had nothing to do with it. If they actually hire me, perfect. So it's a win win (and maybe they think "omg this dude must be a genius to show up like this, better give him all the money". It never happened, but one can dream eheh).
By the way, I'm not unemployed or working a subpar job because I'm stubborn, quite the opposite.
Regarding your particular case. Assuming you ask, there are 3 possible outcomes:
- They by some reason get angry and dismiss you (I seriously doubt this though): answered above
- They reply "we don't know": you're no worse than how you started
- They actually answer you (the usual outcome for me): you got what you wanted!