Perhaps it might be better if I start out with some background first and that might give everyone a bit of an idea on where I'm coming from. I will be omitting all names here just in case.
I work for a smallish company (less than 20 employees) and I get on very well with most of the employees. I used to have a good working relationship with my boss, who is also the head of the company until he started making some very unrealistic work demands which I was obviously not willing to meet.
Since then, I have experienced emotional abuse and constant guilt-tripping from my boss about how I should be thankful that I still have a job and that the job market is very tough right now.
He may be partially correct as I have been applying for other jobs unsuccessfully as other job applications are asking for x years of experience in with a diverse working background, which I do not have. This was my first job straight out of college and I feel that this will be the death of me unless I change.
To continue on, I now have a different direct manager who is not much better. I also don't agree with my workplace's work ethics and the way that we are told to treat the customers. On one hand, we are told at company presentations how important it is to treat customers like God when in fact in reality, we lock them into contracts that they can't get out of and take them to court over it.
I'd like to say that we are providing exceptional service to our clients and that we're holding up our end of the contract, unfortunately, I cannot. We are told to fix the immediate issue and no more. Even if it is only a temporary patch, and not a permanent fix. "The temporary fix will fail soon and they will have to come back to us for more service" was the usual response from my direct manager.
There are no HR managers because the top 2 bosses are it. And they're both money grubbing and power hungry individuals and don't want to listen to what anyone else say. The only reason we still have any business at all is because our BDMs are very good and my colleagues and I are providing extra services to some of our clients when we know our manager is not watching so that these clients would stay happy and would refer us to other businesses.
The people that I have put down on my CVs are all ex-employees of the business who have left, some on not very good terms with the management for the same reason.
I have been to interviews where they have asked me the reason why I am leaving my workplace and I have said that it was due to a difference in working ethics with my current manager or that I needed a change of pace.
These have all resulted in the job application falling through. I have tried to call back several places, asking for feedback for future job applications and have received responses such as "We are looking for someone with more experience in the field" or "We are looking for someone who can work well in a team and we don't think that someone with issue with the management in their current workplace will fit in".
So my question here is:
How do I answer questions about the reason why I'm leaving my current workplace without seeming like a troublemaker or not a team player?
Unfortunately, I've never moved through to a stage where they would talk to my referees.