If your aim is to work in equity research or you're interested in any finance position, you should have a good reason for applying for the position you're interviewing for.
In the case of equity research, mention your non-finance work experience as a reason to focus on the sector you're interviewing for. Also, you could use a specific class or course that helped you prepare for this position.
One way to look at equity research vs. investment banking is that as an equity research analyst/associate:
★ You only have access to public information, which makes the job interesting.
★ You get to talk to suppliers, customers and competitors of your coverage universe.
★ You focus on one sector and eventually become an expert in that sector.
On the other hand, as an investment banking associate/analyst:
★ You get to work with companies directly and you could have access to material non-public information.
★ You work on many deals with different scopes.
★ You work on companies from different sectors.
Just do your research before you head to an interview and have couple reasons on why you picked this position over another one. Saying that you'll get to apply your finance skills might not be enough, because you could apply them whether you work in equity research or in investment banking.