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.

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    What potential repercussions are you worried about? – TheSoundDefense Jan 29 '18 at 20:28
  • @TheSoundDefense, I don't want it to seem like I'm asking for what questions they are going to ask me. – red27bull Jan 30 '18 at 1:25
  • @Dukeling, I don't intend to ask what the interview process will be like. I want to know if it is acceptable to ask what particular skill set the interview will focus on. – red27bull Jan 30 '18 at 1:27
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    Sure you can ask what skills the interview will be on, but I believe there is a better way. Software is very broad and can mean many things. I would ask more about the job description (sounds like you are unsure), and that will give you details on potential questions. – pm1391 Jan 30 '18 at 4:41
  • @red27bull err you do want to know what the format is like as if you haven't done a formal "board" interview before or you haven't done competency based interviews. – Neuromancer Jan 30 '18 at 14:36

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!
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  • The recruiter most likely has worked with the company for awhile and should have an idea as to what the company is after. – Neo Jan 30 '18 at 14:42

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